Rams soccer teams back on familiar turf

Courtesy of Jamie Tozer

Monarch Park Stadium (Photo by Jamie Tozer/Ryersonian)

The Rams soccer teams are back on a familiar field.

Five of Ryerson’s eight men’s and women’s soccer home games will be played at Monarch Park Stadium this season, the field the teams called home for most of the 2014 OUA campaigns.

The Rams were forced to play all home games at Downsview Park last year after field permits for Monarch Park Stadium could not be secured.

It takes roughly 35 minutes by transit to get from campus to Monarch Park Stadium, a block south of Coxwell station on the Danforth subway line. Filip Prostran, head coach of the men’s soccer team, said his players are relieved to not be making the commute to Downsview Park — about an hour from campus — for every home game.

“It’s all the way to Downsview Station and then you’ve got to take a bus, and then this and then ride horseback — or whatever it is,” joked Prostran. “I think [the players are] happy that it’s a little closer to campus.

“They’re used to it. They know that we train all over the place. That’s our situation and we make the best of it.”

The Rams men’s soccer team has quickly found success at Monarch Park Stadium this year, winning its first three home games of the season by a combined score of 11-0. In 2014, Ryerson won six of its eight regular season matches at Monarch.

Ryerson’s women’s squad, meanwhile, is 2-4 on the year and 2-1 at home. The Rams won three of their eight matches at Monarch in 2014.

If the Rams make the OUA playoffs this season, those games will take place at Downsview because Monarch will be putting a dome over its field.

Led by athletic director Ivan Joseph, the search for a permanent home for the school’s soccer teams is ongoing.

“Every year, we’re looking for a permanent home, and I know the athletic director has been working diligently over the past few years,” said Prostran. “Obviously, space downtown is a difficult commodity to get a hold of.”

Prostran said finding a field that is close to campus and easy for students to get to are top priorities. He added that landing a location that will give the teams a bulk of time, which will create a home feel, is also important.

“I’m just happy we have a great academic reputation at the school now. It’s a great location downtown. The school now has a great reputation for academics, athletics and facilities,” said Prostran. “You can’t have it all. I’d rather have those other pieces than the field to be honest.”

Both Rams soccer teams are in the midst of lengthy road swings. The men’s team hosts Laurentian on Oct. 2 at Monarch Park Stadium while the women’s team returns home on Oct. 8 to take on Queen’s.

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