By Luke Galati
In a season filled with could have had and should have had moments, the Ryerson women’s soccer team (1-5-0) finally got the job done Saturday against the Queen’s Gaels at home in dramatic fashion.
With only minutes to spare, down 2-1 and with game on the line, Alex Rodkin took over the game.
After Ryerson forward Soraya El-houni was taken down in the box, Rodkin stepped up and scored on the penalty shot, tying the game up in the 88th minute.
But she wasn’t done there.
In the final minute of extra time, Rodkin had space from just inside Queen’s half and pushed through the first defender and with both feet firmly planted inside the box put home the biggest goal of her freshman Ontario University Athletics (OUA) career.
“I didn’t even know what to think, it was just really exciting,” said Rodkin, who was emphatically jumping on every Rams player in sight after her final goal.
Queen’s tried to rush the ball to half for one last push, but right after they put the ball in play the ref blew his final whistle. Rodkin’s goal – in the final minute of play – signified the Rams’ first win of the season.
“Now after beating Queen’s, who’s a top team, we know we can beat any team now,” she said.
Head coach Kevin Souter said that there was a moment of worry after a Ryerson own goal gave Queens a 2-1 lead in the 67th minute.
“Until we get a little bit of success going forward, there was that sense of ‘oh no, not again’, but the girls dug in and fought,” he said. “This is a huge win for us.”
Towards the end of the game, Ryerson changed their system and started really applying pressure on Queen’s backline, which ultimately wound up being the catalyst for the win.
Souter emphasized that the game was a huge boost for the psyche of the Rams, who prior to Saturday’s match were in the basement of the OUA east.
“To come from behind twice, take the lead in the final seconds I think gives the team confidence knowing that as a defensive unit we can organize ourselves to defend as a team and even better, attack against any team.”
Despite leapfrogging tomorrow’s opponent, the winless Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), in the standings, Souter doesn’t want the day’s win to go to his team’s head.
“This is where we run into a big risk, going in over confident tomorrow, we fought hard and grinded out a result against a very good team,” he said. “We earned the victory but tomorrow’s a brand new game.”
Ryerson’s women’s team will be looking to make it two in a row tomorrow against RMC at Monarch Park Stadium.