By Tagwa Moyo
Persistence paid off for the Ryerson women’s soccer team as they narrowly beat the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Paladins 1-0 Saturday afternoon.
From the start of the game, Ryerson was in control. Thanks to a strong midfield that kept the ball moving across the pitch, the team maintained its shape and kept possession of the ball.
Chances came early and often in the first half, as the Rams outshot RMC 10 shots to seven. The first major chance came when Ryerson’s Niki Paivia controlled a cross field kick from the side of the field and struck on net, only to be stopped by a goalies best friend, the crossbar.
The Rams would continue their onslaught of shots. However, the team struggled to get passed the RMC keeper, who made 13 saves during the game.
“As we continue to find ways to hone our game and develop ourselves, every game is a tough game,” said head coach and Ryerson athletic director Ivan Joseph. “What I liked about the RMC game was that we kept fighting until the very end, we knew were the better team and we needed a goal.”
One must credit the RMC Paladins, who did not let their winless record reflect on their play against the Ryerson squad. The Paladins played a very tight defensive line and caught the Rams’ strikers offside.
Despite having only one goal to show for their many efforts in the first half, the Rams came out extremely strong after making a few substitutions in the second half. Similar to the first half, Ryerson dominated in possession and created multiple scoring chances, outshooting the Paladins 12 shots to none.
However, it wasn’t until extra time where drama ensued. The Paladins keeper was sent off with a red card after tackling and grabbing the leg of Rams’ midfielder Soraya El-Houni, leading to a penalty kick for Ryerson.
After minutes of panic on the Paladins’ side as they desperately tried to prepare their new keeper, El-Houni stepped up to the plate and scored the game winning goal off of the penalty kick.
“Soraya was on the line for a long time, the opposing coach stalled for time and tried to ice her for the penalty kick, but she delivered. It was a great goal and obviously well deserved,” said Joseph.
With the win, the Rams improve to 2-3-2 and now have their focus on Sunday’s opponents, the Queens Gaels.