By Josh Beneteau
The Ryerson men’s soccer team ended their season with a 1-1, penalty kicks loss to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues Sunday in Hamilton.
Viktor Anastasov, Christian Maraldo and Josh Kohn all missed their shots while Toronto only missed one to win the game.
The loss was Ryerson’s fifth straight penalty kicks loss dating back to 2011. They also lost on penalty kicks to McMaster Saturday in the Ontario University Athletic (OUA) semi-final.
“It could have gone either way, two inches left or two inches right,” said defender Kyle Stewart. “So that’s how it goes sometimes.”
U of T opened the scoring 16 minutes in on a penalty kick. Kilian Elkinson picked the top right corner of the net from the dot.
Late in the first half, Ryerson’s Jackson Tooke and U of T’s Lukas MacNaughton were both given red cards for their roles in a scrum near Toronto’s net. Stewart said once each side had 10 players, the game really opened up.
“It changed the style of play for both teams and allowed certain areas to be exploited,” he said. “Especially for us, we were able to exploit because we lost a forward and they lost their key center-back.”
Ryerson tied the game up early in the second half when Anastasov sent a kick from outside the box over the goalie’s head and in.
From there, both goalies were busy as the teams tried to break the tie.
Ryerson’s keeper was rookie Praveen Ahlian and he made multiple diving saves in the second half.
Ahlian was one of many rookies who got some playing time on Sunday, something associate coach Filip Prostran was important for the future of the team.
“It’s important for them to feel this experience,” he said. “Them playing in this game will fuel and experience for next year.”