Ryerson Rams

The Ryerson women’s basketball team is facing high expectations heading into the season. (Steven Tzemis/Ryersonian Staff)

The Ryerson Rams women’s basketball team opened up the Darcel Wright Memorial Classic on Friday night with a bang. They defeated the Calgary Dinos 64-60 to move the team to 6-1 in the preseason, heightening expectations for the up-and-coming squad.

Calgary presented a big test to the Rams. They went 13-9 last year and fought until the very end. Ryerson entered halftime with a 42-24 lead, but Calgary came roaring back in the second half to tie it late. Luckily for Ryerson, they held on for the four-point win.

“These are the games you want in the preseason,” said head coach Carly Clarke. “You learn about your toughness and character and how to execute down the stretch.”

This preseason may only be a precursor for what’s to come. The Rams program has grown immensely since Clarke became coach in 2012 and this is the year where they may break out and become one of the top-tier teams in the OUA.

They’ve had an influx of new recruits, coupled with veterans who have been through the season-long grind and know what it takes to be successful. Combining the two, along with the obvious talent on the roster, could mean the Rams get to announce themselves on a national stage this season.

Still, the season is young and it’s hard to buy into the hype when it’s only the preseason. But the Darcel Wright tournament this weekend will provide us with more context as to what we can expect from the team this season.

“Calgary is going to be a good team all year and we’re lucky to squeak that one out,” said Clarke. “But my expectation is for us to be one of the best teams in the OUA.”

Those expectations may not be too lofty if the preseason is any indication for what’s in store.

Look for a more in-depth season preview in this week’s print edition of the Ryersonian.

Steve Tzemis was a sports enthusiast and very heated debater. He has also interned for Sportsnet's the FAN590 and written for Toronto Maple Leafs blog, The Leafs Nation. Steve graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism in 2015.