By Steve Petrick
Just days after returning back to classes, both Ryerson soccer teams were taken to school again this weekend.
The men’s team dropped a 4-2 decision to Queen’s University on Saturday and lost 5-2 to the Carleton University the next day.
The women’s squad only played once this weekend, but nearly gave up as many goals as the men’s team did in two.
The women were destroyed 8-0 by the Queen’s Golden Gaels in Kingston.
A pair of early losses may be more damaging for the men’s teams because they have the more realistic shot at a playoff berth.
“It’s the imagination,” team captain Tim Clarke said. “We have the players. We have the hard work. We just have to put it all together.”
Ryerson will have a shot at redemption next month when they play both teams at home.
Rams head coach Stuart Miller didn’t let the two road losses get him down. He said both teams were beatable.
He says the only difference in the Queen’s game was, “They were able to punish us for our mistakes and we weren’t able to punish them.”
The mistakes were made early against Queen’s, as the Golden Gaels jumped ahead 2-0 in the first 15 minutes. Striker Cy Paul scored his first of two goals on penalty shots late in the first half. In the second half Ryerson had an assemblage of shots but none went their way.
“We were all over them. We have shots just over the bar. We had shots blocked,” said team members Robert Van App. “There was a breakpoint where we had to score, but we made another mistake and they counter attacked and scored,” he added.
Against Carleton, Ryerson again found themselves down 2-0 early. A header into the net by Jason Egresits pulled the Rams within one late in the half, but that was as close as they got.
Last year, the Rams finished with a record 2-12. With a dozen players returning this year, the squad is aiming for a top-four finish and a chance in the playoffs.
The men’s next game is Wednesday night at 8 p.m. against Trent University at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough, at 8 p.m.
While the men’s team is aiming for the playoffs, women’s coach Jon Sanderson isn’t going to guarantee a win this year.
Last year, the women’s team managed only a tie against Trent and finished with a weak 0-11-1.
In the season-opener against Queen’s in Kingston, the first win was nowhere in sight.
The defending Ontario University Athletics east division champion Queen’s scored eight goals and blanked the Ryerson offence.
Ryerson fell to Queen’s 4-0 and 3-0 last season, one in which the Rams were held to an anemic three goals.
Wednesday night could be the Rams’ night though.
Ryerson hosts Trent University at Birchmount at 6 p.m.
Trent gave Ryerson its only point last season with a tie.
“Trent is a team we compete with on a regular basis,” Sanderson said. “Traditionally Trent and Ryerson have had a decent battle for lower part of the division.”
The focus this year will be shifted from trying to hold down the fort on defense to more of an attacking style.
“I think I made a bit of a mistake last year concentrating on defending a lot more than attacking,” Sanderson said. “We sat back too much last year.”