By Maurice Cacho
Dream season comes to an abrupt halt as girls are shut out by Ottawa in first round, now left looking to next year.
Although the women’s soccer squad played what they said was their best game of the season, it wasn’t enough to carry them through to the next round of the playoffs.
The Rams lost 3-0 to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees in the preliminary round of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) soccer playoffs last Wednesday.
But the one-sided scoreline doesn’t reflect the effort put forth by the Rams. Ryerson held the Gee-Gees for most of the 90-minute game.
It wasn’t until the 68th minute that Ryerson went one goal down in what coach Peyvand Mossavat called a “freak situation.”
The Gee-Gees took advantage of a mistake in the Rams’ defence and picked up the ball, making room for a breakaway.
Soon enough, Ottawa’s Courtney Luscombe took a netted the ball past Rams goalkeeper Michelle Smiciklas for the home team’s first goal.
“It just took one lucky break for them to score,” Smiciklas said.
“We dominated a lot of the first half. We almost had them panicking,” she said. “They didn’t know what the outcome of the game would be because they were afraid that maybe we would win the game.”
With nothing to loose except a chance to go onto the next round, the Rams played more offensively and pushed up the field, Mossavat said.
“We had no choice but to push forward and tie the game up because we knew they were going to defend against us.”
With the losing team pushing for an equalizer, Ottawa again managed to find a hole in the Rams’ defence for a second goal to strengthen their lead. A third finish just before the final whistle killed off any hope of the Rams winning the game.
“We tried to get the goal back quickly so everyone played more offensively, but they got two goals because everyone was pushed right up,” said Tessa Dimitrakopoulos. The star striker is also the third-leading goal scorer in Canada, and second in the OUA.
Regardless off the score, Mossavat said the team played its best game yet.
“They went out there and played their heart out,” he said.
Considering nine of the starting 11 players are rookies, Mossavat is optimistic about the future.
“We’ve done a lot in the last couple of years and it all came together this year,” he said.
Dimitrakopoulos agrees, adding that the young team had to get to know everyone’s playing style this year.
“We don’t have to get used to that next year, we’ll be one step ahead,” she said. “We had a great season and I just can’t wait for next year to get in the finals,” Smiciklas added.
The team also bids farewell to two veterans who leave the squad this year, defender Amanda Sinning and forward Camellia Asbreuk.
“They’ve just had an incredible and positive presence,” said Mossavat.