Soccer team falls short in push for OUA title, CIS berth

The Ryerson men’s soccer season came to an end with a pair of losses in the Ontario University Athletic Final Four at York University last weekend.

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OUA East’s most valuable player Raheem Rose (R) takes a shot (Luke Galati/Ryersonian staff)

After finishing the regular season first in the OUA East and fifth in the nation, expectations were high for the team.

On Saturday, the Rams squared off against McMaster University in the OUA semifinal.

In the 57th minute, McMaster scored the only goal of the game.

“It was one moment, one lapse of focus and they capitalized on it,” says head coach Filip Prostran. “I thought we deserved more from that game.”

Despite registering 11 shots on net, Ryerson was kept off the scoresheet for just the sixth time in 21 appearances this season.

McMaster has long haunted Ryerson in the OUA Final Four. Last year, the Rams lost to McMaster in the same game. Although the loss to McMaster on Saturday guaranteed that the Rams could not win an OUA title, their chance to qualify for the CIS championship was still alive.

On Sunday, the Rams played the University of Toronto (U of T) in the bronze medal game. But Ryerson had an equally disappointing showing. It took just 13 minutes for U of T’s Dakar Charles to find the back of the net.

Although Ryerson was able to generate chances, they were unable to convert on nine shots.

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Defender Nathaniel Tambakis has the ball in Sunday OUA bronze medal game (Luke Galati/Ryersonian staff)

Ryerson was blanked 3-0 and failed to qualify for the CIS championship.

Prostran is content with how the team finished this season, but expectations were much higher.

“I always feel like a high-level program should qualify for nationals every year, especially when you’re ranked in the top five all year,” says Prostran. “The goal is always to make nationals and be in that company of the elite. When we’re not, it feels like we ended up short of our goals.”

Prostran worked as assistant coach for the past five seasons, and led the team to an 11-2-3 regular season record in his first season as head coach. He won the OUA East coach of the year title and is expected to lead the team again next season.

“I’m just going to keep showing up and hopefully they keep paying me,” says Prostran.

Despite finishing first in the OUA East in each of the last two years, the team has not qualified for the CIS championship since 2013.

The team will undergo some turnover this off-season as Jacob O’Connor, Martin Dabrowski and Nick de Grave are all graduating after finishing their fifth year. Fourth-year student Luka Lee is expected to return next season and play on the team.

There are currently 16 players on the roster in their first or second year.

This article was published in the print edition of The Ryersonian on Nov. 11, 2015.

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