By Erin Valois
After a year of playoff defeats and close calls, five members of Ryerson’s soccer teams were recognized by Ontario University Athletics (OUA) for their outstanding achievements this season.
Although the women’s team suffered a setback last month when they failed to make the playoffs, this year was one of their best showings at the OUA awards.
Forwards Andrea Raso and Tessa Dimitrakopoulos were selected first team OUA East Division all-star, a first for women’s soccer.
Dimitrakopoulos led the team with 13 goals.
They are the only two players in history that have been named to the first team in the same season.
Ivan Joseph, director of athletics, said the award recognizes the team’s progress over the past few years.
“This says a lot about player development,” Joseph said.
“And now it’s easier for the coach to go out and get recruits because of this reputation.”
Fourth-year defender and captain Suzanne Briggs won the East Division’s Community Service Award in her last year — recognizing her work in the community, soccer, and academics.
Women’s soccer also cleaned up the OUA awards last year. Raso won East Division Rookie of the Year and this is the third time that Dimitrakopoulos has been named to an OUA all-star team.
And awards for the Rams didn’t stop there — after their first ever playoff victory, the men’s team saw two players selected as all-stars.
For the second year in a row, defender Goran Vlaski was named a first team OUA East Division all-star.
Vlaski, the team’s captain, was also invited to tryout for Team Canada at the World University Games next summer in Belgrade, Serbia.
First-year midfielder Vince D’Elia was named to the East Division second team.
D’Elia missed nearly half the games this season because of injury, but that didn’t stop the OUA from recognizing his potential.
He played eight games, leading the team in scoring with four goals, including two game-winners against Queen’s University and Laurentian University during the regular season.
“This is good for the team,” Joseph said.
“With individual awards, you know the winners were carried on the backs of 18 people.”