Sports editorial by Noah Love
Will it be a season to forget?
Sometimes there’s nothing in sports as exciting as university athletics, but if you’re at Ryerson, you may want to stick with the professionals. Most of our teams feature Ontario all-stars, but whether any of them will make a difference on their respective teams this year is a mystery. When we last left the men’s basketball team, they had suffered a second consecutive playoff loss, ad then a major personnel loss. Gone are the OUA East first team all-star, Bill Crowdis, as well as rookie all-star Sandy Brar and 5-foot-3 phenom Karlo Villanueva.
Whether this team has recruited enough talent to compete will not be the Rams’ biggest concern. With OUA East and West merging, Ryerson team will face a very difficult schedule that will include games against national tournament stars MacMaster, Western, and Carleton.
“We feel the need to make a big jump in terms of quality next season,” assistant coach Bob Marsh said following last year’s playoff loss to the York Yeomen. This team needs a great leap if it plans to be among the OUA’s top four. If could be a long year for coach Terry Haggerty and company. The women’s team is in a whole other state of trouble. The Lady Rams went a depressing 5-15 last year, and that was with OUA East offensive and defensive all-star Miruna Muller. Now that Muller is gone, coach Sandra Pothier is going to need all-star turns from a group somewhat talented sophomores for the Rams to keep their heads above water.
My feeling is that it will be a tough year for the team. Unless they’ve got an NCAA-calibre starter in the fold, this will most likely be a season to forget.
Neither team will be able to count on crowds to help them find success. Last season the Kerr Gym was often emptier than screenings of the summer bomb,Pootie Tang. If the Rams start losing early and often, crowd turnouts will likely stay low.
On to volleyball. Considered a prestige sport in many Canadian universities, men’s volleyball coach Mirek Porosa has struggled to bring his team to respectability in the last three seasons. This year’s Rams are hoping for more success, and it is possible they hold the cards needed to get it. “We’ll win more games than we lose next year,” all-star Sasha Simic boldly proclaimed following the Rams’ 0-12 season – a season that included an CIAU – low three games won. But Ryerson’s 2000-01 male athlete of the year might be on to something. Simic is the key to the team’s success. His average of 3.76 kills-per-match was fourth highest in the CIAU and he was named to the OUA second all-star team. With most of last year’s team returning to the court and coach Porosa’s Junior Olympic son entering his first year at Ryerson, the Rams may actually win a couple.
The women’s team surprised many last season by going a respectable 8-9, losing in OUA quarter finals to the eventual champion, University of Toronto. Coach Arif Nathoo loses seniors Carly Price and Kate Streib, but much of last year’s talent, including MVP Elizabeth Reid, is returning to the squad this season. With some quality first year talent, this could easily be the team to watch.
As for the sports the school has even less of a vested interest in…last year’s hockey team, with its revolving door roster, went miserable 4-20-0. The lowlight came when the team was featured as ONTV’s game of the week taking a 10-0 beating at the hands of the Guelph Griffins. If second-year head coach Ed Kirsten can convince his players that they can play like gods, the Rams might tie or even win a couple games. For now, this team will need major changes to allow fewer goals against, let alone any possible success.
Last year, Ryerson’s men’s and women’s soccer teams went a combined 0-20-0, and between them they had nine goals all season. I’m not expecting anything from either of these teams in hopes that I will be surprised when hey actually win a game.
Ryerson University does not place the same premium on sports as may other Canadian Universities. Our school is more likely to enjoy success from a good work ethic than from success achieved through aggressive recruiting. Until Ryerson athletics makes more of an effort to bring Canada’s best players to their teams, it will be one mediocre year after another. A few bright spots here and there, but nothing worth remembering.