By Luke Galati
It’s more than just a new calendar year for the Ryerson men’s soccer team.
The Rams are coming off an undefeated season that had a little bit of everything: a lastminute comeback win during the OUA quarter-finals, leading to overtime glory. A storybook final season for the OUA’s leading goal scorer and the country’s most outstanding player, Alex Braletic.
And of course, heartbreak at the CIS finals. But this is a new year, with a new team and new expectations.
Without Braletic and forward Armin Tankovic, the team is going to need to find a new source of offence. That’s a combined 18 goals that have graduated.
With several personnel changes, associate coach Filip Prostran wants to keep expectations realistic.
“After being undefeated last year in the regular season, I think every team has a different definition of what success is,” Prostran said. “We have to be careful our expectations aren’t too high.”
One of the new players looking to make an impact is Adam Hemati.
Last season, the Vaughan product was at the University of South Carolina Upstate, playing NCAA Division 1 soccer.
Hemati is optimistic for the upcoming season. “I know their past history and how well they did. I want to beat that, which would be incredible,” he said. “Getting that far and not winning is motivation for the next year.” The Rams have also added sixfoot one striker, Basit Madamidola, who will add some size, something last year’s team lacked.
With this being the final season for Rams veteran keeper Christiano Maraldo and defender Jacob O’Connor, the team is hungry to make the most of the upcoming year.
O’Connor said that despite the loss of key players, the goal hasn’t changed.
“Make it to the national tourney, that’s got to be the goal every year,” he said.
With a new crop of young talent coming Ryerson’s way, change is all over this year’s team. Incoming recruits will be joining players who have already been a part of a top squad.
The men’s soccer team will begin their quest to return to the CIS finals Aug. 30 when they take on the Nipissing Lakers at Monarch Park.