By Harlan Nemerofky
Rookie Cameron Galea-Andrews scored in the final minute of stoppage time as the Ryerson Rams men’s soccer team (0-0-1) salvaged a 2-2 tie against the Carleton Ravens (1-0-1) in Sunday’s home opener at Monarch Park Stadium.
With their goalie pulled in the dying moments, Ryerson used an all-out attack that ended with Galea-Andrews scoring in the 93rd minute, bringing the home crowd to its feet.
“I just remember seeing the ball being played back by the [Carleton] defender to his goalie, so I sprinted to the ball…[and] jumped to head [it],” said Galea-Andrews of the tying goal, his first in a Rams uniform. “I was so surprised [to score the goal] that it took me a moment to realize where the ball was.”
With the draw, the Rams have not lost a regular season game dating back to last year’s season opener against these same Ravens.
“We wanted the win but the manner in which the tie came, we’ll take it,” said Rams’ fifth-year midfielder Alex Bratelic, who scored Rerson’s first goal. “Scoring in the 93rd minute shows true character for this team and speaks volumes as to what we’re going to do this year.”
Bratelic tied the game at 1-1 in the 38th minute, after a rebound found him alone on the right side of the goalkeeper’s box. But Carleton’s Andrew Latty responded in the 74th minute, giving Galea-Andrews the opportunity to play hero.
“That last goal was just a little bit of luck, a little bit of heart,” said associate head coach Fillip Prostran. “Cameron just out-jumped the keeper and got a lucky bounce. It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it.”
The match was very physical, as both teams jawed at each other from start to finish.
Last year, the Ravens were the only team to defeat the Rams in 16 regular season and playoff games – beating them in the first match of the regular season 2-0 and then eliminating them in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) quarter-finals.
“[This matchup] is more than a rivalry,” said Bratelic. “Last year, these guys knocked us out in extra time so there’s a bit of a bitter feeling and so you saw from the get-go, the game was rough and tough. We left everything out on the field.”
The three-time OUA East all-star thought that the Rams should have been able to put the game away early, after controlling the majority of the first half.
“To tell you the truth, we should have had this game in the first 20 minutes,” said Bratelic. “We hit two posts, had some good shots, and we just didn’t [capitalize].”
But Prostran was just happy with the Rams overall desire to match the Ravens’ physicality throughout the course of the match.
“I thought a couple key people played very physical [for us],” said Prostran. “Guys like [defenders] Sebastian [Novais], Jacob [O’Connor], and even some of the rookies.”
Seven of those first-year players, including Galea-Andrew, made their Rams debuts in the effort.
The Rams will return to the pitch this weekend when they host the Laurentian Voyageurs and the Nipissing Lakers at Monarch Park Stadium.
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