By Gavin Mackenzie
The captain of the Ryerson men’s soccer team had his playing career cut short this weekend when he suffered his fifth concussion in four years.
Tim Clarke was injured when he and a University of Toronto Varsity Blues forward went up for a header at the same time during their game Sunday at Varsity Stadium.
The back of the U of T player’s head cracked Clarke on the forehead, who fell to the ground and began writhing in pain.
He attempted to walk off the field under his own power, but couldn’t. At that moment, it became clear to Ryerson’s medical staff that Clarke’s injury was serious and he needed to be taken to the hospital.
Clarke spent much of Sunday night in the hospital, where he was diagnosed as having suffered a severe concussion, the second major one of his career. Clarke couldn’t be reached for comment, but according to his close friend, Rams goal-keeper, Julian Angelone, Clarke decided to call it quits on Monday afternoon on the advice of his doctor as well as his family.
Angelone said that Clarke was feeling groggy Monday night and was having trouble remembering what happened even a week ago.
Clarke was in his fifth year with the Rams, his third as a team captain. Last year, he won the team MVP award.
“It’s a big loss to the team. Not only is he a good player, he’s a true leader on and off the field,” Miller said. “We’ve lost our main player.”
Miller believes there is on of two things that can happen: Either the team will rally after the loss of its captain and pull together as an even stronger unit or be devastated and lose all hope.
“Filling his shoes will be hard to do,” Angelone said. “There’s going to be a big void in the centre. The bench is going to have to step up.”