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It has been a perfect start to the season for the Ryerson men’s soccer team, winning the first five matches of 2016 and only allowing a single goal.
At the centre of this success has been fourth year striker Nick Lambis. The Pickering, Ont. native has already scored four goals this year, tied for the OUA lead and added an assist.
In what could be his final season with the Rams, Lambis is looking to make his mark. This year has been the best start to a season he has had in his Ryerson career.
“Really it’s all about confidence,” Lambis said. “Right now I’m confident that I will be scoring goals and I think the rest of the team is as well. When the team is confident that you are going to score you see a lot more of the ball.”
Lambis also attributes this impressive start to the season to knowing his role as a striker. Throughout his time at Ryerson he has played striker, midfielder and defender.
Rams head coach Filip Prostran says these changes in position are because Lambis has such a wide skill set. Prostran knew he would be reliable wherever he played. But Lambis said he is happy to now have a consistent position on the field.
“In years past it was kind of up in the air whether I was going to be needed in the centre of midfield or up top,” Lambis said. “But all summer I trained as a striker, which is what I’m natural at because I’ve been a striker my whole life.”
Prostran has seen plenty of progress on the field from Lambis during his time with the team.
But the biggest effect Lambis has had on the Rams happened off the field, Prostran said. As a veteran player, Lambis has adopted a leadership role on the team.
“He’s a person that people go to off the field to say ‘hey, I need help in class’ or ‘hey, I’ve got this problem,'” Prostran said. “He’s a shoulder that a lot of younger kids lean on.”
Lambis was in their shoes once, a time he remembers fondly. In his first year with the Rams, the team qualified for the CIS national championship. His goal is to get the team back there this season.
He doesn’t just want to qualify this year, however. With his time at Ryerson running out, Lambis wants to win it all and believes the Rams have the team to do so this year.
“We want to be the first team at Ryerson to [win a national championship],” said Lambis. “The fact that we haven’t done it yet, I’m definitely extra determined to do it. Because knowing that I’m almost done [at Ryerson], I want to leave my mark.”
The Rams still have 11 more regular season games to play before the playoffs start. But if Lambis and the team can continue their current form, they have a strong chance of getting back to the CIS championship.