The Ryerson men’s soccer team had an emotional season having to forfeit their first six games, then winning nine regular season matches to advance to the OUA Final Four. Ultimately, the Rams went home with bronze in a third-place match-up against McMaster University.

We caught up with Filip Prostran, the head coach of the Ryerson men’s soccer team, to talk about the loss against York, staying positive and saying goodbye to senior players.

The head coach of the Ryerson men’s soccer team, Filip Prostran. (Photo by Alex D’Addese)

What was the reaction like after the semi-finals against York?

“The game is still fresh in our mind. I am so incredibly proud of how they played, how they performed, how they executed. For 95 minutes of that game they were excellent. That’s the way it goes sometimes. They were crushed, they were heartbroken, they were devastated. We all were, but they also knew that even though that game meant not qualifying for nationals, it was still important to end our season on a high.”

What did you tell the team before they went out for the bronze medal game the next day?

“At the end (of the game against York) I said, ‘Let’s enjoy this last game.’ I didn’t want them to be Debby Downers and mope through it. This was the last time the team was going to play together. Whether it was this game or the national tournament, this was the last week of the season, whichever way you dice it.”

How do you feel now that some of the seniors are moving on?

“It is the nature of the job and of the collegiate athlete. Their job is to go on and move onto bigger and better things. That’s exactly what they have done. There are a lot of great stories of this senior class. Stories of perseverance. They have leaders. They have really built the kind of success that we have tasted over the last handful of years, so they will be hard to replace.”

From now until the summer, what is the plan?

“I’m probably going to travel a little bit, relax, learn some new things, recruit some new playersthe usual things that happen. The third years and the fourth years really have to carry the torch so that when the new players come in they know how we do things here. I’m a big proponent of, you don’t rebuild teams, you reload them. If we are doing our jobs right recruiting and culture-wise, the hands should be passing on the baton just as they are graduating. There should be no influx in performance or ability. If I have done my job right in setting these young players up, we will be in a great spot next year.”

With files from Brenda Molina-Navidad

Heather Stewart is a features editor and contributor.

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