History and a statement.
Those are two things that the Ryerson Rams women’s soccer team made on Wednesday night when they defeated the Nippising Lakers in a penalty shootout to advance to the OUA quarter-finals for the first time in the program’s existence.
The win came in exhilarating fashion, with the Rams coming out on top after 120 minutes and a penalty shootout. With the win, Ryerson now moves on to the quarter-finals where they visit the number one seed University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.
Ryerson and Ottawa have met two times this year, one home game for either side- with both matches going in favour of the Gee-Gees. The Rams have been unable to put a ball in the back of the net and have been outscored 6-0 through those two games. Being ranked number one in the OUA standings, and first, in the U Sports power rankings, the quarter-finals will be a tough test for the Rams.
Not only are they up against a tough side in Ottawa, the team is also in uncharted territory for the women’s team. Whilst a win is not impossible for the Torontonians, it is certainly a tough task.
In the game against the Nipissing Lakers, the Rams showed a playoff mentality- something that not been prevalent in the squad in the last few years. In soccer, it is commonly said that defence win’s championships, and that is something that Ryerson has been very good at throughout this season. As their game against Nippsing showed, they are a team that knows how to shut down an attack, whilst also threatening on the attacking side of the ball.
49 was able to speak to Ryerson forward Chloé Zomparelli about the upcoming game in Ottawa.
“It’s important. As a team, we have never been here, and going up against the top team in the country we want to show how far we have come.”
The rams have certainly improved in every aspect of their game this season, after a disappointing 2018 campaign, and their last game against the Gee-Gees was very close- with Ryerson only losing by a single goal, in a match which was cut three minutes short due to injury.
If the upset is to occur, it will send shockwaves through the conference, and let all of U Sports know that the Ryerson Rams are a real contender. If the playoff win doesn’t come back on the bus to downtown Toronto, the 2019 season can still be looked on as a success for Ryerson, who made history just making it to this point. This is a program clearly on the rise and one that will be a contender for the OUA title sooner rather than later.
The quarter-final matchup against the Gee-Gee’s is at 12:30 pm on Sunday and can be streamed for free on OUA.TV, with post-match coverage right here on 49!