By Marco Sasso
In a spirited effort, the Ryerson Rams women’s soccer team overcame a series of refereeing decisions to pull off a 3-0 win over the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks at Downsview Park on Sept. 15.
After a stunning long-distance goal by Rams striker Alex Rodkin early in the first half, the Ridgebacks were awarded a penalty after a collision resulted in forward Lauren Rea tumbling into the box.
And although the penalty was scuffed wide, it was quickly followed up with another call from the official, as a red card was dealt to Ryerson defender Samantha Naus.
Recovering from an airborne challenge with Ridgebacks striker Taijah Henderson, Naus drew a reaction from Henderson—who proceeded to slap Naus in the face—after her elbow brushed the Rams defender, attempting to spring back into position. The referee intervened and showed both players a red card.
By the 25th minute, Ryerson was without one of their top defenders as both teams were down to 10 players.
“It shouldn’t have happened, but you can’t control the game or what the refs do,” said Rams goalkeeper Elisa Lapadula. “It is what it is, but you just gotta come out on top.”
In the 66th minute, Ryerson added a second goal thanks to freshman striker Jade Vyfhuis, who ran the length of the pitch to win the ball in the Ridgebacks corner and cross it onto the head of Rams midfielder Brooke Pearson to seal the win for the Rams.
But Vyfhuis wasn’t finished just yet, scoring her first-ever goal as a Ram just six minutes later as she fired a shot into the top corner from 20 yards out.
Ryerson dominated the possession battle for most of the game and restricted Ontario Tech to just two shots on goal in the second half, which were both handled easily by Lapadula, who earned her third clean sheet of the season.
The win extends the Rams’ streak to three games—their longest since 2015—and puts Ryerson in a position to qualify for the playoffs, sitting third in their divisional standings.
“This weekend was an absolute deal-breaker for us,” said head coach Natalie Bukovec. “The way that the league is set up on a 14-game schedule you only get to play UOIT [Ontario Tech], Trent, Laurentian, and Nipissing one time. So securing those four games will be key for us in order to be comfortable in getting to the playoffs.”
UP NEXT: Ryerson will look to defeat the University of Toronto at Varsity Stadium on Sept. 22