By Chris Sanders
The Ryerson Rams men’s soccer team inched closer to securing a first place finish in the OUA East, after a convincing 2-0 victory over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.
Currently leading their respective division with three points atop of the second seeded Carleton Ravens, winning the East would mark the fifth occurrence for Ryerson in the last six seasons.
From kick-off, the Rams made a strong impression on the visitors. Less than three minutes into the opening half, Rams’ striker Raheem Rose ripped a bullet outside the box, ricocheting off the bottom-right post to take an early 1-0 lead.
“U of T Killer.. that’s what they call me,” Rose said while talking about his performances against the Varsity Blues.
Living up to his fitting ‘U of T Killer’ label, Rose’s nickname seemed to rub off on the rest of his teammates. A well-rounded team effort that kept the Blues in their own half anticipating each Rams offensive attack.
“The energy that the guys brought…I was loving it!”
He would even go on to say the new crop of talent could be one of the most talented Ryerson teams in recent memory.
“I feel good leaving the team like this [upon graduation]. The rookies that have come [to Ryerson], I’d say are better than guys who’ve graduated…maybe.”
Instead of relying on the stars of the team, chances came from a variance of players. Each coming closer to demoralizing the Varsity Blues. Yet, the team was mostly everything but clinical when converting on their opportunities.
In what could have easily been a 4-0 scoreline, the Rams had to settle for one heading into halftime.
Losing a portion of their early dominance, the hosts remained in control during the second-half. Quality offensive build-ups and unselfish play rewarded the Rams with a handful of good looks in front of their opposition’s goal. But it would go both ways once the Varsity Blues found their rhythm.
But it wasn’t enough to beat Rams goalkeeper Ali Ghazanfari, who saved seven shots en route to his eighth clean sheet of the season.
In the 60th minute, Rose nearly tallied his second goal of the game to give the Rams a 2-0 advantage. Hitting the post once again, except this time around it would lead to nothing more.
Just over 10 minutes later, rookie Kai Martin outpaced a defender down the wing before cutting into the box before scoring his first career OUA goal. The goal would stand as the game winner.
Happy with his team’s result, Rams head coach Filip Prostran still has adjustments to make before the end of the regular season.
“50% of the goals (in soccer) are set pieces. For me, the most important thing for us is to be really disciplined defensively off set pieces, and dynamic and creative (off set pieces),” Prostran said.
UP NEXT: The Rams will take on the Laurentian Voyageurs at Downsview Park on Oct 20. Kick-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.