By Chris Sanders
The Ryerson Rams men’s soccer team completes their weekend undefeated with a grimy 2-0 win over the Royal Military College (RMC) at Downsview Park on Sept. 8.
Following a hard-fought win against Queen’s the day prior, Rams head coach Filip Prostran was satisfied with the result after a sloppy game against the winless Paladins.
“It wasn’t pretty but this whole weekend was just getting the job done,” said Prostran. “If you can’t play your best performance and still get six points, it’s always a good sign.”
Battling a chilly weather condition, it didn’t take long for the Rams to find the score sheet, going up 1-0 in the 17th minute when a deflected cross found midfielder Veni Koutsoulianos inside the six-yard box for an easy finish.
But goals became scarce as Ryerson struggled against the wind to recreate their routine long-ball style of play for the majority of the first half.
With persistence and some patience, the Rams broke through the breeze when midfielder Arya Hemati exchanged a give-and-go with forward Yuri Costa, who lobbed in a cross finding rookie midfielder Aryan Hakim, who headed in the first goal of his Ontario University Athletics (OUA) career.
“It was a nice build-up play, a great cross from Yuri and I guess I was just in the right place at the right time,” said Hakim.
RMC would look more lively in the second half, but the Paladins’ best soccer still proved no threat to Ryerson’s back-line, allowing just two shots on goal to finish the game.
When asked about any surprises regarding his team’s play, coach Prostran mentioned the 27-year-old newcomer, Andrew Barrett.
“He hasn’t played a game in I think four or five years,” said Prostran. “I thought Andrew Barrett was quite good today, both on the wing and the middle [of the field]. He’s a guy who has some unique life experiences that really translate on the field with his leadership.”
That leadership was evident when Prostran shifted Barrett towards the central midfield.
“He brought some composure… communication, and a little bit more structure [in Ryerson’s midfield],” said Prostran. “It was a quick switch to get some personnel and leadership in the middle, and it paid some dividends today.”
With successful back-to-back wins in the book, the Rams now sit second in the OUA eastern division standings, trailing the Carleton Ravens on goal-differential.
UP NEXT: The Rams will look to continue their streak when they welcome the visiting Trent Excalibur to Downsview Park on Sept. 13