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It’s report card time for Ryerson’s Ram!

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Well, some of them are finished, others are in the middle. We thought we’d hand out some report cards, for those who haven’t been following all of the teams religiously. Here they are!

By Noah Love and Kevin Gonsalves

Soccer teams: Final Report

Record: Men’s team, 26-2. The women went 1-9-0.

Last Year: Both teams were 0-10-0

Notable: The women snapped a seven-year losing streak and the men almost made the playoffs.

The men’s soccer team got a new coach, and suddenly they were a whole different team. The Rams got two wins and two ties. The Rams are in the OUA Midwest division, which was bad from top to bottom, until the last week of the season. The Rams weren’t eliminated from the playoffs until their last game.

What caused this turnaround? Chalk it up to the fiery coaching of Tony la Ferrara. The first-year coach was a big success in the college ranks and managed to bring his winning ways to the previously hopeless Rams.

His style wasn’t without criticism, though. Two players left the team at the beginning of the season after disagreements with the coach. Many players were exhausted during games because of full week practice schedules.

But the results were there. The team went from no points to eight with a roster full of first-year students. Goalie Oliver Strong was often the difference between winning and losing, but the offense chipped in enough goals to keep the Rams in playoff contention.

If la Ferrara can keep up this kind of commitment to winning and maintain the team’s demanding physical practice schedule without killing players, the team could almost certainly improve next season.

As for the women’s team… well it was a banner year. Why, you ask? They went 1-9-0! What kind of banner is that? A losing banner, that’s what! Hold your horses.

The one win was, amazingly, the team’s first in seven years. The Rams’ losing streak stood at 79 games before the whistle blew on a 4-2 win over the Brock University Badgers.

Fourth-year head coach Jon Sanderson got his first win. The team also scored seven goals, up from two last season.

And that’s about it.

They still lost nine games. They still lost nine games. They did not qualify for the playoffs. The team had trouble practising as a whole during most of the season. Not really a banner year, but maybe one win for this team is a reason to hang a banner.

With many of their senior players leaving the team, it may be a while before the teams gets another win.

Men’s team: B- Women’s team: D+

Volleyball teams: Midterm report

Record: The women are 4-5 and the men are 0-8.

Last year: At this time, the women were 4-5. The men were 0-6.

Notable: Volleyball: the same as last year? Or different?

At this time last year, these teams were at exactly the same point. The women were hovering around .500 and the men had no wins. But these really aren’t the same teams.

The women showed they are capable of pulling off the occasional big-time upset when they took down the York University Yeowomen in four sets.

Head coach Arif Nathoo has had some tough luck in the first half of the season. The team has had trouble practising as a whole. The team’s setter, Tisha Rouse, had a sore ankle and missed several league games. He also had to deal with the loss of seniors Carly Price and Katie Streib.

But, no matter. The team rolls on with a solid 4-5 record.

Jacquie Fler is among the league leaders in kills-per-game with 3.43. Mirijana Curic, transfer student Stephanie Brown, captain Liz Reid and a strong batch of returning players are filling the void left by Price and Streib.

They may be at the bottom of a very tough division, but if they can pull a few more wins out of the bag, they should make the playoffs.

The men’s team are also in roughly the same place they were last year. There are a couple differences, but they haven’t translated to wins.

The first difference is that the team has played quite well on some occasions. In their home opener, they took the first set from the University of Western and looked poised to start the season on the right foot. Then they lost the next three and the match. Yeah. So anyway, they’ve been capable of taking a set a match from any team.

The other difference with the team is that, instead of one big offensive star, there’s two! Anton Hauser looks poised to be the rookie of the year. He’s leading the OUA in kills-per-game with 4.33. Last year’s Ryerson’s make athlete of the year, Sasha Simic, is in fifth with 3.22.

So what’s the problem?

Well, the team has nobody in the statistical leaders for defence. Women’s coach Arif Nathoo said once that the offence couldn’t function properly without a good defence.

Coach Mirek Porosa blames most of the team’s problems on their tough division. Tough indeed. So tough in fact, that Ryerson would have to win its remaining seven games and the powerful University of Toronto Varsity Blues would have to lose all the rest of theirs for the Rams to make the playoffs.

Oh well, maybe next year guys.

Women’s team: B Men’s team: C-

Hockey team: Midterm report

Record: The hockey team are 5-6-0 after 11 games.

Last year: They were 2-10-0 en route to 4-20-0

Notable: The Ryerson hockey team should spend the second half trying to attain a single tie. And playoffs.

What a difference a year can make.

Last year, the Ryerson Rams would have had difficulty beating anybody. This year, other teams are having trouble beating them. Well, goalie Jon Sikkema anyway.

The Rams finished last year with a 4-20-0 record. At 5-6-0 they’ve already bested the win total in 11 games.

There is room for improvement, but Ryerson hockey fans can be proud of the team’s accomplishments.

The Rams have received spectacular goaltending from Jon Sikkema, who has all five of the Rams’ wins in his first year with the team.

The Rams dependence on Sikkema is an area where the team must improve. Despite doing a better job of clearing rebounds, the Rams are frequently outshot, sometimes by a margin of 40 shots.

Being outshot isn’t that bad when you consider how fortunate the Rams have been on offence. The team’s top two lines are having excellent seasons, and their third and fourth lines are playing key defensive roles.

Centre Justin Norwood, in his first season with the Rams after playing in the Ontario Hockey League, has lived up to Coach Ed Kirsten’s pre-season hopes by carrying the first line.

The Rams second line has been a pleasant surprise. With Tyler Moss flanked by the McMillan twins, Greg and Mark, the line is among the league leaders in scoring.

Offense is hardly a concern, though the team’s powerplay has struggled recently. Powerplay quarterback Justin Cook is out with a separated shoulder.

The Rams lack of killer instinct is also troubling. In a game against the University of Waterloo at home, a game the Rams should have won, the Rams came out flat. Beating weak teams will be something the team needs to focus on to secure a playoff berth.

While there is work for the Rams, they look almost assured of making the playoffs. If they continue to capitalize on their chances, show more discipline defensively, and avoid injuries, they should be fine. Their goaltending will almost certainly keep them in games they are outplayed in.

For a team that was a subject to a 10-3 beating against Brock, the solid play of the Rams is a surprise. The opportunity exists for the Rams to succeed beyond the hopes many had going into the season, with a first place finish in their division and playoff success possible.

Hockey team’s midterm: B+

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