By Christian Ryan
The Ryerson Rams were already off to a strong start to the season, scoring late to break a tie and win their home opener on Saturday. They would not need the same string of luck to close out the weekend, defeating the Trent Excalibur 12-0 at Downsview.
The Rams set a program record with their dozen goals, nine of which came in the first half of Sunday’s matchup.
“It’s not ‘oh the score, now we don’t have to learn or work hard’,” said Ryerson head coach Filip Prostran. “No, guys come in, their job and their responsibility is the same: play within our system, work like dogs.”
Of all the Rams, Abdallah El-Chanti shone the most.
El-Chanti entered the game with one goal on the season, but would exit the field as the leading scorer in Ontario University Athletics (OUA). He made quick work off a feed from teammate Akibul Hoque to put the Rams up by one two minutes into the game. Three minutes later, an individual play put two on the board for him and the Rams. By the 15th minute of play, he boasted four goals, grabbing his first career OUA hat-trick in the process.
El-Chanti would share the wealth early with Mirza Custovic. Not only would Custovic record his first career OUA goal, but after another 12 minutes of play, he had his first career OUA hat trick. After the seven-goal mark, Prostran called his two high scorers out of the game and opted to spread out field time and give freshmen their first OUA showings.
“Regardless of the score, we’re coaching to get better today,” Prostran said. “Guys that are trying to earn time and earn minutes, they don’t care what the score is. They’re playing hard and tough, and that’s what we expect of them.”
The Rams slowed down somewhat, but continued to put scoring pressure on the Excalibur with midfielder Kussai Salman recording two goals and attacking midfielder Oliver Wales scoring his first OUA goal. Freshman forward Elliot Exton marked the lone shot on goal for the Excalibur, as they ultimately fell 12-0.
Despite sweeping their opening weekend and putting on a dominating performance on Sunday, Prostran maintains that it’s too early to know what direction the season will take.
“I don’t know a definition of success for this team yet,” he admitted. “There’s days that we look great, and there are days where I’m like ‘oh, we need work’. We haven’t quite figured out what we want from this year, but we’re going to try to get to where we always get then try and take that step further.”
UP NEXT: The Rams will match up against the Excalibur once again on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at Justin Chiu Stadium in Peterborough.