By Adam Button
After getting kicked all over the field for the first two games of the season, Ryerson’s men’s soccer head coach Tony La Ferrara took a page out of the Jim Fassel guide to coaching.
“We’ll turn it around,” said the second-year coach after losing 6-1 to Queen’s and 5-0 to Carleton this past weekend. “We’re going to make the playoffs, I guarantee it. You can write that five times.”
Fassel, the head coach of the New York Giants, promised his team would qualify for the playoffs following a loss in the 2000 National Football League season. The Giants ultimately made it to the Super Bowl that year.
La Ferrara’s playoff promise may not be as super, considering the closest Ryerson has ever been to the post-season was in 1994 when the Rams lost to Carleton in a tiebreaker game for the fourth and final playoff spot.
However, La Ferrara feels his team narrowly missed the playoffs last season and said the 2002 squad appears ready to make the next step.
Playing in Ryerson’s favour is a change in the playoff format; an additional team will be making the playoffs from each division this year.
The games were closer than the score indicates, La Ferrara said. In the game against Carleton goaltending mistakes cost the Rams the game.
Goaltender Arlo Tari might have been rattled after getting thrown out of the game a day earlier. In that game he got red carded when he dove and tried to grab the ball but instead got the Queen’s player. A penalty kick resulted and Queen’s capitalized putting the game out of reach.
It’s going to take a long stretch for the women’s soccer team to take advantage of the new playoff format. The Rams were blown-out 10-0 by Queen’s university on Saturday and 11-0 by the University of Ottawa on Sunday.
“We’re struggling for bodies,” said women’s head coach Jon Sanderson. “We only had fifteen people at tryouts. I know there are some quality soccer players at Ryerson. It’s a matter of them stepping up and helping.”
In another act of unorthodox coaching, Sanderson even offered to have his home phone numbers printed in The Eyeopener to help recruit players.
Unfortunately for Sanderson this publication relies on bathroom humour tactics, not bathroom wall tactics. If you can help the team call Ryerson athletics.
The La Ferrara prediction watch kicks off today when the Rams square off in Peterborough against Trent University.
Both the men and women’s teams open the home half of their schedule on Sept. 14, taking on division rival McMaster University at what remains of Varsity stadium.