Kaleigh McKye lifts Rams to crucial late season win

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By Kyle Oliveria

With the season winding down, the Ryerson Rams women’s soccer team secured a massive three points in a 1-0 victory over the Carleton Ravens on Oct. 12 at Downsview Park.

The win puts the Rams (5-4-2 record) in a prime position with just three games left in the year, including a rematch next week against the Ravens in Ottawa.

The game was a back-and-forth affair in the first half, which saw Ryerson dominating in possession. The Rams had a few chances on goal but couldn’t convert, which resulted in both teams heading to the break scoreless.

In the second half, Ryerson continued to inch closer to breaking through.

Carleton was committed to staying back and defending, and aside from a few counterattacks, it seemed as if they were looking to secure a draw.

But the breakthrough finally came in the 79th minute when Rams defender Kaleigh McKye pounced on a loose ball in the box and capitalized to give her team a 1-0 lead.

“That was my first goal of the season,” said a pumped-up McKye after the match. “Everything I worked so hard for during the summer paid off today, and it meant a lot. The fact that I was able to do that for my teammates just feels amazing.”

The team rallied around McKye’s boost of energy and held off a late Carleton attack to maintain a crucial 1-0 win.

Even though the Rams were favourites in the match—with the Ravens ranking close to the bottom of the Ontario University Athletic east division—they fought hard, and head coach Natalie Bukovec was satisfied with the effort.

“Definitely not easy today, but no team in this league is easy,” said Bukovec. “I thought we’d have a lead going into the half, but obviously that didn’t happen, we left it pretty late.”

Ryerson’s focus now shifts toward the No. 1 ranked team in the country, the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Ottawa hasn’t lost a game this season, but the message in the locker room has remained the same all year long.

“[The message is to] to keep it up, don’t be afraid of anybody,” said Bukovec. “Don’t fear your opponent, but respect them.”

McKye doubled down on that message when asked about the importance of keeping focus with the season coming to an end.

“One of the things we’ve struggled with all season is keeping the energy up,” said McKye postgame. “We did it today, it was great energy for the full 90 minutes, that needs to keep happening.”

UP NEXT: Ryerson will welcome the Ottawa University Gee-Gees tomorrow in their first matchup of the year at Downsview Park .

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