Rams fall short in home opener against Gaels

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By Marco Sasso

The Ryerson Rams women’s soccer team was shutout against Queen’s in their home opener at Downsview Park, as they dropped their second match in seven days against the Gaels in a 2-0 loss on Sept. 7. 

It was a match the Gaels dominated, scoring two goals off the back of an aggressive start to the second half versus a labouring Rams defence.  

“I think we 100 per cent broke down,” said Rams fullback BreAnah Webster. “We started off so strong, but after the first goal it seemed as though we looked defeated and that gave Queen’s that extra energy and it just seemed like they came guns blazing, and we just shut down completely.” 

Webster was one of the only bright spots for the Rams, outmuscling Gaels striker Jenna Matsukubo in a lopsided individual battle that came to a premature conclusion. 

In a desperate search for offence, Rams head coach Natalie Bukovec instructed Webster to play further up the field in the second half. The decision left the Rams vulnerable defensively, allowing Matsukubo to speed down the field in the 53rd minute and loop the ball over the head of Rams goalkeeper Elisa Lapadula to make it 1-0. 

Ten minutes later, the Gaels scored off a corner where forward Cecilia Way managed to tuck in a powerful header into the top of the net.

“The last time we played Queen’s in Kingston it was a similar thing—just who could capitalize first,” said Bukovec. “They came out, two clear chances, put them away and for us, it just didn’t work out.”

Ryerson’s only clear cut chance to score came in the second half when senior forward Alex Rodkin—isolated up top for a majority of the match—sprung free in front of the goal only to scuff her shot into the arms of the Gaels goalkeeper. 

The Rams had just seven shots on goal in the 2-0 loss compared to the 17 attempts they racked up in their 3-0 win against the Royal Military College (RMC) last Sunday.

Absent of clear passing options upfront, Ryerson ended the loss how they started it—with the game on Webster’s shoulders, as the makeshift striker took the ball across the box, powering a shot just over the Gaels net. 

The loss drops the Rams down to seventh in the standings, as they hold the final playoff spot with three points on the season. 

UP NEXT: The Rams will look to bounce back tomorrow, against an RMC squad they beat handily last Sunday 3-0

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