By Daniel Morand
The York Lions (14-2-1) spoiled the Rams (13-1-2) undefeated season with a 1-0 win in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship game at Birchmount Park Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The Rams had the opportunity to win Ryerson’s first ever OUA championship, but were kept off the score sheet for the first time this year.
Second-year Lion Mark-Anthony Kaye scored the only goal of the match in the dying seconds of injury time in the first half after Malcolm Loukides sent Kaye a long pass across the pitch. The ball deflected off a flailing Rams defender and fooled Rams keeper Christian Maraldo, which held on as the winning goal.
“The Ryerson defenders knew I was left footed, so they tried to push me to the left,” said Kaye. “The right side was opened up so I had a shot and managed to get a deflection for it to go in.”
The Rams best opportunity of the half came from foward Armin Tankovic, who hit the post after his shot deflected off the hands of York’s keeper midway through the first-half.
Ryerson failed to shift momentum back in their favour and were limited to two shots on goal in the second half of the game.
The Lions had possession of the ball for much of the second half and posted five shots on goal.
York keeper Sotiri Varlokostas dashed any hope of a Rams comeback when Luka Lee was denied with a diving save in the final minutes of the game.
The Rams OUA season is over, but have the opportunity to compete in the CIS National Tournament starting Nov. 7 in Frdicton, N.B. The Rams earned a seat at nationals with Saturday’s 1-0 win against Windsor.
”That feeling [of losing today] lights the fire a little bit for Thursday,” said associate head coach Filip Prostran on the Rams first game to be played at nationals. “Some of them maybe forgot what that feeling of losing feels like, [so] it humbled them a little bit.”
The Rams will face-off against Laval on Thursday at 4 pm.