Rodkin goal paces Rams to victory over Ridgebacks
TORONTO – The Ryerson Rams women’s soccer team started the season with a bang, picking up three important points with a 1-0 victory over the UOIT Ridgebacks on Saturday afternoon.
The Rams got a first half goal from senior striker Alex Rodkin in the 29th minute after an impressive cross from defender BreAnah Webster. Rodkin was able to head home the first goal of the season to give the Rams the lead.
In a windy and rainy affair, the Rams thought it was important to be able to strike first with the wind at their backs.
“The early goal was needed, for sure,” said Rodkin. “It was a lot harder in the second half.”
The goal came shortly after a big save from Rams keeper Elisa Lapadula, who stopped a point blank shot from UOIT’s Rhiannon Kissel. Lapadula made seven saves in the match for the cleansheet victory.
Ryerson nearly doubled their lead in the 72nd minute when, after longstanding UOIT pressure, the Rams were able to break through with some pace. Katherine Sollbach found space down the right flank and wired a shot on goal. Ridgebacks keeper Olivia Tierney was just able to get her fingers on a diving save, pushing the ball wide.
The Rams played solid defence down the stretch, protecting their one goal lead, but defender Sierra Clancy came up clutch in the dying moments. In extra time, with the rain pouring down, a fumbled ball in the Rams’ box led to a scramble leaving Lapadula out of position. A UOIT strike looked poised to tie the score but Clancy got her body in front of the ball right at the goal line to deny the opportunity.
The Ryerson victory marks the first win for new interim head coach, Natalie Bukovec, and her players were quick to speak to how Bukovec has prepared the team.
“I think Natalie has a big impact on the way that our game has changed compared to last year,” said defender Webster. “She’s keeping us composed and I feel like having her has kept us committed to bring home a ‘W’.”
The Rams will look to make it two wins on opening weekend when they take on the Trent Excalibur on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Downsview Park.