The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team at practice. Photo by Chelsea Lecce

Last week, the Rams women’s basketball team lost by a hair to rivals, University of Toronto Varsity Blues. One point separated the two teams by the final buzzer, ending the game with final score, 85 Toronto to Ryerson’s 84.

The Rams were leading with seven points left in the game, before seeing out.The loss could be considered bittersweet for Rams all-star forward, Sofia Paska. Sporting the number eight on her back, Paska notched her record-breaking 645th rebound of her Rams career at the game.

“It feels great that all my hardwork has really paid off,” says Paska. “Just seeing myself develop from my first year has been really surprising and I am happy about it.”

No other Rams basketball player has more grabs off the glass than the fourth-year early childhood studies student. Against the Varsity Blues, Paska walked off the court having shattered a scoring record of 36 points, as well as setting a new record for all-time rebounds at Ryerson.

The Rams women’s basketball team coach, Carly Clarke, has been alongside Paska since her first-year playing as part of the Rams.

When asked how Paska has been as asset to the team this season, Clarke says: “The obvious answer is her ability to score the basketball. She is ranked as third or fourth in the country for points per game, so that is a huge help for our team.”

Paska’s achievement earned her a $25 gift card to St. Louis Bar and Grill as part of its #DevilishlyGood ad campaign. The true hallmark of Paska’s devilish nature however, is the hellish time she gives her opponents in the key.

“I think she does so much more than just score,” says Clarke. “Her presence and confidence is contagious amongst the team and she is continuing to grow as a teammate, and it is fun to see her develop.”

Against The York Lions, Paska dominated the area underneath the rim, out-muscling, out-passing, and out-thinking her adversaries. She is showing promising signs as a key part of the Rams’ battle plan with three games remaining before the playoffs, as a rematch with the York Lions a near future possibility.

“We are just hoping that we really pick up and start winning some games closer to playoffs,” says Paska. “Our goal is to excel to make it to the OUA championships.”

As a forward, Paska is responsible for being close to the basket and sealing her post-player down low, considering a lot of her shots are either layups or a really close post.

She says that she does not really like physical contact, but being able to learn to deal with it and pushing through to work on the things she is not really good at, is how she develops the physical and defensive side to her game.

“We are really just making sure that we are focused and stay together throughout the rest of our games and start winning some more games,” says Paska.

The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team will be hitting the court again tomorrow evening in Kingston, Ont. against Queen’s University Gaels.

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