By Xavier Eeswaran
After falling into a 2-0 deficit less than 25 minutes into their match against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees Saturday afternoon at Downsview Park, the Ryerson Rams women’s soccer team spent the remaining minutes trying to mount a comeback.
But the Rams’ early mistakes plagued them from then on, and the team lost 3-1, dropping Ryerson’s record on the year to 3-4-2.
Things could have been much worse, much sooner for the Rams; one minute into the match, the Gee-Gees took a free-kick five yards outside of the box, but Rams keeper Elisa Lapadula made one of her six saves on the day. Lapadula’s stop set the tone for the first 20 minutes of the match as the Rams constantly thwarted the Gee-Gees’ attack.
That didn’t last for long.
In the 22nd minute, Ottawa forward Faythe Lou knocked in a rebound into the bottom left corner to put the visitors up 1-0. Shortly later, Rams midfielder Sierra Clancy was clipped aggressively on the shins, but to the dismay of the Rams’ supporters in the crowd, there was no call made by the referee. Ryerson became disorganized and distracted after that, and in the 24th minute, the Gee-Gees’ Miranda Smith chipped in a goal from inside the five-yard box, capitalizing on the Rams’ defensive lapses.
Just like that, Ryerson was down two goals to none.
Rams head coach Ivan Joseph brought the team in to regroup and recollect themselves—a decision that would prove a turning point in the match.
Ryerson regained their stride as momentum began to favour their side, and defender Victoria Watson, the team’s leading scorer, contributed her fourth goal of the season in the 34th minute to narrow the Gee-Gees’ lead to one.
Despite the swing in momentum and their second-half dominance, the Rams couldn’t manage to score an equalizing goal. The second half was filled with several altercations during stoppages of play, and amid rising tension, Ryerson’s attack intensified.
The Rams went all-out in the final minutes but had nothing to show for it. In the 90th minute, Lou added her second marker of the game, pushing the score to 3-1.
Ryerson has struggled mightily against Ottawa this season, dropping their first meeting on Sept. 2 by a score of 6-0. All season, the Rams have had trouble finding the back of the net; they’ve been outscored 16-7 so far.
UP Next: Ryerson takes on the Carleton Ravens at Downsview Park at 1:00 p.m. On Sept. 1, the Rams beat Carleton 2-1 to earn their second win of the year.