Rams men’s soccer team’s season ends in extra time heartbreak

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By Mario Russo

A comeback bid in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) semi-finals from the Rams men’s soccer team was swallowed up in the Lion’s den, falling 3-2 in extra time to York University on Nov. 6.

With less than three minutes left to play in extra time, a strike from York’s Niko Sigur curled inside the left post of Rams goalkeeper Praveen Ahilan and made its way to the back of the net.

The Rams found themselves unable to recover from the heartbreaker and it put an end to their 2021 season. 

“It doesn’t seem like today, but as long as I’m at Ryerson, one day we’re going to win the national title, as long as I’m alive,” said Rams head coach Filip Prostran. 

Heavy is the head that wears the crown and heading into this semi-final matchup, the Rams’ heavily talented offence would face its biggest test this season against the York Lions. 

The match tilted in the Rams’ favour in the 25th minute when a headbutt from York’s Gabriel Jodhan saw the referee reach for his back pocket. The Lion’s defender was awarded a red card and ejected from the match, giving the Rams the man-advantage. 

But even with that extra set of legs, Ryerson was still unable to get on the board.

The Rams found themselves in a massive hole to open the second half after surrendering goals to Omar Marzouk and Soji Olatoye in the first 45 minutes of the game.

The message heading into break was clear from head coach Prostran, who believed that if his team could score a goal, they’d have York on the ropes.

The first step was to put down the shovel and the Rams did just that on the man-advantage, through the attack of Zakaria Abdi. 

The 54th minute saw the Rams get within one. Nearly thirty minutes later, the Rams’ season-long magic spilled onto the pitch. 

A desperate cross made its way to the forehead of rookie sensation Justin Santos. The ensuing header would fall right to the foot of Brandon Barone, making quick work of the opportunity and knotting the game up at two. 

Following the match, Prostran said his team showed “incredible character” throughout a match packed with “a lot of gritty efforts.”  

Two 15-minute halves of extra time would carry over the late drama and decide which team would play in the OUA final.

But the game winning goal wouldn’t be found in the first half of extra time. Instead, the game was highlighted by end-to-end action and the ejection of York’s coach. 

The late minutes of the second-half of extra time is where York Lions Stadium came to life, when Sigur scored a dagger. For the home fans it was a moment of celebration, but for the visiting Rams, the wind had been taken out of their sails. 

“The heartbreak only makes us stronger,” said Prostran.

UP NEXT: The Rams head into the offseason and will look to climb the mountain back to the top of the OUA next fall.

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