Men’s soccer team wins, finally

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But the women stretch their winless streak to 76 games

By Chris Johnston

The first week of the season left the men’s soccer team in a state of disarray. A week later, they are back in the hunt. The Rams took a 2-1 victory over the McMaster Marauders last Saturday, their first win since October 23, 1999. It was a turnaround that only rookie head coach Tony La Ferrara believed could happen.

“We dominated the game and deserved to win it,” La Ferrara said. “We are getting better and better every game.” The win came as a surprise after the events that took place. The Rams lost both of their games and veteran players Damian Serjeant and Marko Petrovski decided to quit the team.

La Ferrara insists that they left on good terms. “I don’t think that they were playing as much as they would have liked to,” he said. “They decided to walk away and that’s okay. I felt bad, but it’s their choice.”

After a 3-1 loss to the Guelph Gryphons on Sunday, the Rams (1-3-0) sit in third place in the central/south division, trailing McMaster (1-2-1) by only one point. The top two teams in each division qualify for the playoffs.

“The only thing against us is that we have so many young players,” La Ferrara said. “But the kids are beginning to realize what it takes to win, and they’re doing it.” For the lady Rams things are not looking as positive. After a competitive opening weekend, Ryerson dropped a 3-0 decision to the Marauders on Saturday, and lost 5-0 to the Gryphons on Sunday.

The lady Rams have not won a regular season game since October 15, 1994 – a 2-1 victory over Trent – making them winless in their last 76 games. The current losing streak stands at 31 games dating back  to a tie in 1998.

Ryerson played a strong opening half against McMaster, and headed to the locker room tied 0-0. However, a couple of weak goals early in the second half sunk the Rams. “I, along with my staff, felt that we had just seen the best half of soccer played by a Ryerson team in the entire time I have been with the program,” fourth-year coach Jon Sanderson said. “The team’s effort in the first half gives me confidence that we can compete with any team in the OUA.”

On Sunday, the girls were outplayed from start to finish by Guelph. Not only were they outworked, but the lady Rams were also roughed up by the Gryphons as Natalie Dabit suffered a black eye, Nicole Suto a mild concussion and Melody Shurr a bloodied nose.

“There were no bright spots on Sunday,” Sanderson said. The lady Rams (0-4-0) are also in third place in the division, but they trail second-place Guelph (2-1-0) by six points. It would take quite a turnaround for the girls to qualify for the playoffs.

Ryerson will play two home games this weekend. On Saturday they will face the University of Western Ontario Mustangs at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough. Sunday they host the Brock Badgers. On both days the women kick off at 1 p.m. and the men follow at 3 p.m.

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