By Adriel Smiley
- Rams eliminated from OUA gold medal contention
- Guelph scores three goals in 30 minutes of extra time
- Ryerson plays U of T for OUA bronze and U Sports nationals berth on Sunday
Ryerson’s men’s soccer team will being playing for the OUA bronze medal and a trip to the U Sports national tournament after falling 3-0 in extra time to the Guelph Gryphons in a heated semi-final match on Saturday afternoon at Birchmount Stadium.
Both teams failed to score in 90 minutes of regulation, but the Gryphons capitalized in the ninth minute of extra time with a goal from forward Tomasz Skublak. Guelph added another goal three minutes later from first-year midfielder Alexander Zis. The hosts of this year’s U Sports national tournament sealed the win with a third goal by Christopher Jacovou in the 28th minute of extra time.
It was the third straight OUA Final Four loss for Ryerson after losing to McMaster in the semi-final in each of the last two seasons. The Rams were looking to return to the OUA championship game for the first time since 2013 after finishing the regular season atop the OUA East with a 14-1-1 record, the best in team history. A win over Guelph would have also guaranteed Ryerson its first berth in the national tournament since 2013.
Skublak put a finger to his lips asking Ryerson fans to be quiet after his game-winning goal.
In the first half, Guelph controlled the ball with some juicy opportunities but was denied by the great play of Rams goalie Praveen Ahilan. Forward Jamie Baker, who picked up a yellow card in the 29th minute, stopped a Guelph free kick that was headed towards the goal.
The second half began with an offensive surge from the Rams. Things started to heat up on the field, which led to some pushing between Ryerson’s Kyle Stewart and Guelph’s Zachary Rush. The Gryphons countered Ryerson’s attack to put the Rams defense on their heels. Rush and forward Youssef Zaghloul were a handful for the Ryerson defense, but some strong play from Stewart kept the game scoreless.
UP NEXT: The Rams are back at Birchmount on Sunday, Nov. 6 in the OUA bronze medal game against the University of Toronto at 12:00 p.m.