By Xavier Eeswaran
Kyle Isaiah Laborde-Ayres scored two goals in the first half as the Ryerson Rams men’s soccer team defeated the Carleton Ravens 3-1 on Oct. 12 at Downsview Park.
The Rams, who rank sixth in the nation, handed the previously undefeated Ravens and second-ranked team in the country their first loss of the season.
“I think it was our best performance all season,” said Rams captain Abdallah El-Chanti.
Early on, the Ravens came out swinging with a header that hit the crossbar as it remained deadlock to start the game.
But Rams forward Laborde-Ayres would break it in the 27th minute with a shot to the right side of Ravens goalkeeper Nick Jeffs.
Jeffs got a hand on it, but it was too powerful to keep out of the net, putting Ryerson up 1-0.
“It happened really quickly,” said Laborde-Ayres. “I got the ball, saw a bunch of defenders in front of me, tried to fake the shot, and after that, I saw a lane, shot it and it went in.”
In the 34th minute, less than 10 minutes after the last goal, Laborde-Ayres struck once again, collecting a rebound and firing it away into the back of the net.
“The big moments are made for Kyle,” said Rams head coach Filip Prostran. “That was obvious today, the way he showed up and played.”
Just like that, the Rams were up 2-0 heading into halftime against a Ravens squad that conceded just two goals all season before this matchup.
At the start of the second half, Carleton was hungry for a goal, however, Ryerson’s defensive composure kept the Ravens under control.
A comeback from the Ravens was squashed in the 80th minute when El-Chanti made a shot into the bottom left corner to make it 3-0 as teammates and Ryerson fans ran onto the field to celebrate with the captain.
“It was a great feeling, everyone coming to celebrate with me,” said El-Chanti. “It’s amazing, this is who I do it for, the people [who] come to watch us play, my teammates, coaches and for Ryerson of course.”
The win makes it Ryerson’s fourth straight as they improve to 9-1-2 on the year.
“I expect that high level from him,” said coach Prostran of El-Chanti’s performance. “Every single game you could say he’s the best player.”
In the 90th minute, Ravens forward Stefan Karajovanovic scored to make it 3-1 but by then the game had been decided.
Ryerson is now tied for second in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division with the Toronto Varsity Blues with 29 points, and are one point behind the Ravens for first.
“We’re amongst the best in the country,” said coach Prostran.“….Playing [Carleton] that is of your calibre, and to win, that shows you’re elite.”
UP NEXT: Ryerson will face off against Carleton once again in Ottawa and then return home to end their regular season on Oct. 20 in a game with the Nipissing Lakers