By Peter Ash
The Ryerson Rams women’s soccer team pressed hard, but weren’t able to capitalize on any of their opportunities, falling 2-0 to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Sunday.
Despite their efforts to get a solid shot on net, the game was ultimately decided by the strong defence of the Varsity Blues as they kept the Rams from getting any easy opportunities. The loss gives Ryerson their first loss of the season, moving their record to 1-1-1.
The game didn’t start off well for the Rams, as they’d lose star forward Alex Rodkin to an injury within the first 10 minutes of the game. Knowing that the Rams’ top forward was out seemed to give the Varsity Blues a great deal of confidence, and it showed immediately. U of T forward Natasha Klasios made the most of her opportunity in the 18th minute, slotting the ball into the right corner of the net from a tough angle to give her team a 1-0 lead.
Despite their lack of luck, the Rams midfield continued to press the Varsity Blues’ defence, forcing the side to play a defensive role for the remainder of the match.
“For the majority of the game, I felt like our middle was dominant,” said Rams interim head coach Natalie Bukovec. “Even though it wasn’t the result that we wanted, I was content with the performance that we had in the midfield.”
Heading into the second half, Ryerson looked to find the equalizer early, using their speed to create holes in the Varsity Blues’ backline. Rams wing defender Katherine Sollbach would be the one who would force the issue for her team, pushing the ball down the right hash every chance she had. She’d nearly score in the 60th minute, blasting a shot from the right corner of the box that grazed the left corner of the post.
However, that would be the closest the Rams would get, as the Varsity Blues defence kept them in check for the remainder of the game.
“I think today, we weren’t in it for the entire 90 minutes,” said Sollbach. “Obviously the (Varsity Blues) are a good team, but I think we’ve grown so much as a team that (when we play) next week, it’ll be a (better) matchup.”
To make sure that Ryerson wouldn’t have a chance for a late rally, U of T midfielder Kristin Parkes created a counter attack opportunity and scored on it to give her team the insurance they needed.
“(2-0) is hard to deal with, especially because I felt like we had the majority of possession,” said Bukovec. “It comes down to taking advantages of your opportunities, and we both had four shots on goal, but they were the ones who capitalized.”
UP NEXT: Ryerson will head back home to take on the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Sunday Sept. 9th at Downsview Park. First touch is scheduled at 1:30 p.m.