TORONTO- Vince D’Elia and Jamie Baker each tallied a goal, putting the Ryerson Rams men’s soccer team back in the win column with a 2-0 victory over the RMC Paladins on Saturday afternoon at Lamport Stadium.
Before the game, Ryerson veterans Adrian Mancini, Ashkan Mahboubi (Pickering, Ont.) and captain Dimitri Karopoulos (Scarborough, Ont.) were honoured on Senior Day. Each received framed photos commemorating their contribution to the men’s soccer program in their respective CIS careers.
In a game in which the Rams held most of the scoring chances and possession of play, RMC goaltender Jhordan Darrington was stellar for the Paladins, keeping the game close with a number of diving saves that thwarted leading scorer Viktor Anastasov (Toronto) and the rest of the Ryerson offense.
D’Elia (Vaughan, Ont.) connected just over 10 minutes into the contest, taking a pass from Mancini (Richmond Hill, Ont.) and rifling a hard shot that Darrington had no chance of stopping.
However, Anastasov was stoned minutes later after he looped a ball heading for the top right corner that was pushed over the cross-bar by Darrington. The Toronto native had another chance within minutes when Dimitri Karopoulos sent him a pass on the left side of the box. His shot sailed just over the net.
Anastasov was not deterred in the second half, creating more chances for himself. A curving shot from the right side of goal missed the cross-bar by inches, and minutes later he was denied again by Darrington after finding an open shot point black in the middle of the net.
The Rams offense would eventually break through again.
In the 72nd minute, Jamie Baker took a pass from fellow rookie Vince Sasso (Toronto). The Aurora, Ont. native, who earlier had his chances taken away by the RMC goaltender, sped past the Paladins defense and, from a narrow angle on the right, swept a short side shot in the back of the net.
Baker leads the Ryerson first-years and is also climbing up the conference leader-board with six goals so far this season.
The Rams are now 6-2-2 in the OUA East division, and have leapfrogged Toronto for second-place after the Varsity Blues were defeated by Queen’s on Saturday.
The Gaels, fresh off the big win, will be looking for more tomorrow afternoon against the Rams. In their previous meeting, Queen’s squandered a two-goal lead in the second half, and Ryerson was able to manage a draw in Kingston, Ont.
The Gaels are just one point behind Ryerson as well as Toronto, making the mens' next couple of matches critical if the Rams want to make a run for a top-two spot in the division and a first round playoff bye.
Ryerson will do battle with Queen’s tomorrow afternoon at Birchmount Stadium. The game will get underway at 3:15 p.m.