By Luke Galati
With ten minutes remaining in the match, University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks (UOIT) women’s soccer head coach, Peyvand Mossavat calmly and confidently told his team to, “stay calm. It’s coming.”
He had every reason to be confident. The Ridgebacks are the fourth ranked team in the nation. They were undefeated on the season and were dominating the pace of the game. They hadn’t conceited a single shot on goal all game and Ryerson was on their heels.
Then, it came.
The Ryerson Rams women’s soccer team, who for the previous 85 minutes were holding on for dear life managed to beat the UOIT Ridgebacks 1-0, despite being outshot 11-1.
With five minutes left before extra time, at midfield, Amy Tahmizian cleared the ball. It looked like any other play.
With fresh rookie substitute Alex Rodkin applying pressure on UOIT’s keeper, Melissa Linton, she fanned on the Tahmizian clear and just like that, the ball slowly rolled right into the back of the net.
“I literally just cleared it, we were going for the tie,” Tahmizian said. “I turn around, I wasn’t even looking and then all I hear is ahh, it’s going in! It was mind boggling.”
“I’ll be honest with you; all three of us coaches took our eye off the ball. We we’re mid conversation, but you never know when things like that happen,” head coach Kevin Souter said.
Tahmizan was rushed by her teammates at midfield and jumped on her in celebration.
Amid the hype, she turned to Ivan Joseph and Souter and said, “Thank you for teaching me clearances,” something that the Rams practiced the day before. “I couldn’t imagine any other situation, it was perfect,” she said.
“A little bit of pressure applied on the goalkeeper, the keeper forced to make a decision, caught on two minds, and we’ll take it. We’ll take those ones, I think sometimes you earn your luck,” Souter said.
Moving forward, the Rams are hoping to run through the finish line and squeak their way into the playoffs.
Before today’s match, Souter mapped the plan out for the final three games of the season with his team. The goal against UOIT was clear, play for the tie and hope for the best.
Managing to pull out a win against the Ridgebacks, Ryerson is now one point out of the sixth and final playoff spot in the OUA East.
Despite starting the season an abysmal 0-5, now with two games remaining, there is hope. The Rams’ next game is away against Laurentian, who hold the final playoff spot that the Rams covet.
“We’ve had to put our back against the wall and come fighting. We’ve got a good result tonight but we need a minimum four points this weekend in hopes of playoffs,” Souter said.
After the evening’s victory, the Rams have set their sights set.
“We want to make playoffs,” defender Sarah Slattery said after the game. “Since Laurentian is the team that we’re neck and neck with, so we either have to tie or beat them.”
The future of the Rams is now in their own hands. Unless they win both games there are no guarantees at this point, but for the time being, as Tahmizian said, “It puts us in such a good spot.”
The Rams will close out their season this Saturday at Laurentian and Sunday at Nipissing.