Photo by Alex D'Addese

Rams fight through adversity to reach Final Four

By Andrea Elliott
TORONTO - The No. 3 nationally ranked Ryerson Rams men's soccer team had to fight their way through the OUA East semifinal but eventually emerged victorious with a 1-0 extra time win over the Queen's Gaels to reach the OUA Final Four.


Nearly everything that could happen in this game happened. Rams all-star centreback Kyle Stewart had to leave the game after a scary collision wounded him, only to return bandaged and motivated. In overtime, the reigning OUA MVP was awarded a penalty kick but Raheem Rose was stopped by the Queen's keeper. Later in overtime, rookie sensation Robert Boskovic was sent off with a red card and the Rams were forced to play the rest of the extra frame a man down. Then, the Rams found their leading scorer in Jaime Baker who netted home the game's only goal.

There was no shortage of drama, that's for sure. 

"We've talked about adversity and how to deal with it, to expect it, and how we're going to deal with it when it comes. And man, it came today. A tight playoff game in overtime, that's one thing. Then a player sent off, missing a PK, and then down a man scoring. There's something to be said about an adverse team," said head coach Filip Prostran following the game.

Ryerson held the majority of possession and scoring chances throughout the game but Queen's held their own and kept the Rams off the score sheet through regulation.

Both teams had their chances in extra time but it was Andrew Dias who sent a cross in from the left wing for Baker to head home to open the scoring. 

With the lead and a man down, Ryerson used their final substitutions to solidify their defensive line. The move paid off, as Queen's pressed to find an equalizer but were unabe to get one past Rams keeper, Praveen Ahilan.

The win sends the Rams back to the OUA Final Four championship tournament for the fifth straight year. As the top seed in the east division, Ryerson will host the championship on November 5-6 at Birchmount Park.

Despite not playing a game at Birchmount this season, the Rams are hoping good fortunes stay with them next weekend.

"We've got good omens there - last time we qualified for the national tournament was there so that's why we chose it," said Prostran.

The Rams will face the second seed from the west division, the Guelph Gryphons, at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.



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