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November 23, 2011

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The Eyeopener

Equestrian

#10

In just their second year of existence, Ryersons equestrian team is proving to the entire Ontario University Equestrian Association (OUEA) that they are a force to be reckoned with. Currently sitting in third place in the East Zone, Andrea Robinson is not surprised by her teams performance this season. Last year was our first year and we didnt have enough people to fill each division, explained Robinson, one of the teams co-founders. This year, people are lined up for shows and everyone who goes is either placing or having amazing rounds. Laura Giffen is one of the teams newest members and said that she chose Ryerson over other universities because of the equestrian team. Now two shows into the season, Giffen leads the Easts Entry Division in points, while Robinson is sitting in fourth place in the Novice Division. Both Robinson, Giffen and three other Ryerson riders have already qualified for the OUEA championships. You dont want to get an ego with riding because its not an individual sport, its a partnership with the horse and one bad ride can drop you down, said Giffen. But I definitely can be competitive. Charles Vanegas

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November 23, 2011

Hockey

#9

One, two, three. That was Dustin Alcocks recipe for success in the Rams varsity hockey game against the Universit du Qubec Trois-Rivires, Saturday, Nov. 12, when he scored his first career OUA hat-trick in a 5-4 overtime loss. Just over a third of the way into the season, Alcock has already accumulated more goals (seven) than he did all of last season (four). Theres nothing better than scoring, said the self-described workhorse. In only his second year with the team, Alcock will need to build off of his quick start if Ryerson hopes to make it into the playoffs this season. Regardless of how this season turns out, he aims to win an OUA championship by the time he graduates from Ryerson. Humble and softspoken, Alcock deserves his fair share of credit for the hockey teams improvement this year, as he has already matched his first-year point total with nine through 12 games. Weve got a good group of young guys, said the Hamilton native and criminal justice major. If the Rams win total continues to increase at a rate similar to that of Alcocks scoring, chances are his group will be OUA championship contenders in no time. Matt Oxman

November 23, 2011

SPORTS TOP 10

The Eyeopener

11

#8
Soccer
After playing 120 minutes of soccer at the University of Torontos Varsity Center, the Rams and the Blues were tied at one goal apiece. Michael Jan, the Rams all-star defender, was struggling to catch his breath when he was called upon to take the first penalty shot. Knowing exactly where he wanted to place the shot, Jan stepped up to the ball and blasted it to the right side. Instatnly reacting to the shot, U of Ts goalie made the diving save, safely batting away Jans shot. I was still confident we were going to win it because I knew Christian [Maraldo], our goalie, could save a goal but then we missed another one and it didnt work out. The loss marked the second consecutive year that the mens soccer teams season ended in penalty kicks. Jan came into last season with an already impressive resume. In his rookie year, the third-year defender was named the OUA East Rookie of the year and was also named a second team OUA all-star. His second season was equally as strong on the Rams backline, but he did not receive anywhere near the same recognition around the league as he did after his rookie year. This past summer Michael and his brother, Luke, trained together, working on their one on one skills and getting stronger in the weight room. Jan, who was named a first team OUA all-star, just finished his strongest season to date, finding the back of the net twice in fourteen appearances. His strengths lie in his understanding of the game, his nose for reading the oppositions offence and most importantly his contributions to the teams offence as a defender. I trained a lot more this year on the things I needed to work on, said Jan. I was a good enough defender but I needed to attack more, which resulted in a couple goals this year. Gabriel Lee

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November 23, 2011

Hockey

#7

It has been a tough move up to Canadian Interuniversity Sports for Ryersons womens hockey, but it could have been a lot tougher without new goalie and top recruit Emma Crawley. Its not the first time Ive played on a weak team, compared to the rest of the league, says Crawley. Were not a bad team, but were just not as strong as our potential. As recipient of the prestigious Presidents National Entrance Scholarship, Crawley has lived up to the high expectations. After 12 starts, Crawley leads the OUA in saves with 351, 19 saves ahead of the runner-up who has played one more game than her. Im stopping as many pucks as I can, she says. Despite the struggles that come along with a young program, Crawley firmly believes the Rams just need to click to become contenders. By notching a single victory, the chemistry major says that her team has already exceeded expectations. In their only win of the season the Rams beat the Waterloo Warriors 1-0, with Crawley stopping all 21 of the shots she faced. I feel like once we click were going to be unstoppable, she said. Playing on a young team has forced her to raise her game to a new level, and although the losses are frustrating, they only motivate her to get that much better. I feel like growing up playing for weak teams has just made me stronger as an individual because Im always working ten times harder than Id work if I was on a team that won 10-0 every game. Matt Oxman

November 23, 2011

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The Eyeopener 13

Figure Skating

#6

When Alysha Gjos transferred to Ryerson from Fanshawe College, she never planned on getting involved with the figure skating team. Thankfully for Ryerson, after a little convincing from a friend who skates for the University of Toronto, Gjos decided to lace her skates back up after not having skated competitively for more than two years. At first, Gjos found it hard to get her rhythm back as she was struggling to execute basic jumps. It felt like a roller-coaster, said Gjos. Because I had taken so much time off I kept falling in [practice]. After a tough return to the ice, Gjos realized that if she got back into shape, she could have a legitimate shot at winning it all. Last February, she captured the gold medal in the Senior Silver Freeskate event. This season, Gjos has only one thing on her mind: defending her title as best senior silver free skater in Ontario. Personally, I hope to medal in every competition and Id like to defend my championship. Gabriel Lee

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November 23, 2011

Volleyball

#5

I love blocking, said Kasandra Bracken. The best blocks are when the other team gets super, super excited that theyre going to have a huge hit they think theyre about to do something great and you just take one step above them, and are like Nope! Im gonna do something better! Seven games into the season, he fifth year middle blocker is already leading the team with 16 blocks. Although the womens volleyball team is 2-5, Bracken believes that Ryerson is playing better than their record indicates. Were definitely a team thats hoping to make the playoffs, she said. Obviously were going to have to up our record, but I feel like we have been playing well, and if you look at the individual stats were up there in kills, were up there in digs, were up there in aces, were up there in blocks. Technically we are leading the league, we just havent been able to get a lot of the results that we wanted. One of the lone veterans on a young team, Bracken says that she is actively looking to mentor her younger teammates. That being said, she says she feels a selfish sense of urgency in her last year of eligibility, but is realistic about the teams expectations. Still, Bracken feels on top of her game despite a nagging shoulder injury. I feel good, I feel smarter, I feel stronger this year. Im coming back for a fifth year, so now I dont have to deal with roommates, and rez. Matt Oxman

November 23, 2011

SPORTS TOP 10

The Eyeopener

15

Volleyball

#4

A number of key departures left the Ryersons mens volleyball team with a largely inexperienced group of players. With five rookies on his team, Luka Miloevi is fully aware that much of the burden is on him to churn out a successful season. Its a lot of pressure, but I try not to let it affect me, he said. I just go into every game focused on my duty: [getting kills] and scoring as much as possible. And score he does. The fourth-year player ranks fifth in the OUA in both points per game and service aces. In addition to that, he also leads the Rams in blocks with 14. While Miloevi is content with his statistics, hes less pleased with the teams 2-4 record. Were not quite where we want to be, he said. We beat McMaster, the defending OUA champs, but then weve lost games we thought we should have had. With a number of very winnable games in their future, Miloevi believes the team can be back at .500 by the end of the semester, which would solidify them as a legitimate playoff contender. We have a lot of talent on this team; its just a matter of staying consistent, he said. As long as everyone can stay focused, keep a cool head and not fold under pressure then we can get there. Weve proven we can be a dominant team when everyone stays focused.
Charles Vanegas

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November 23, 2011

Basketball

#3

MacDonald
Ashley MacDonald has achieved as much individual success as any womens basketball player in the OUA could hope for. The fifth-year point guard turned shooting guard was a first team OUA all-star last year, team MVP, female athlete of the year at Ryerson, and was second in league scoring. Four games into the season, MacDonald leads the league with 23.8 points per game, while adding 4.3 rebounds and five assists per game. Theres only one last thing that the veteran point guard would like to achieve before she graduates. I want to get to nationals, said MacDonald decisively. Sporting a 1-3 record to start the season, the team will not make the OUA playoffs at this rate, let alone the nationals. This is my end-all be-all, said the sociology student. As much as she wants to make a championship run, MacDonald understands she has to play the role of the patient leader. That being said, she refuses to set the bar low. This rookie class is probably the most skilled Ive been around, she said. Like a true veteran leader, MacDonald will try to guide her younger teammates in the right direction, while improving her own game in what will be her final season as a Ryerson Ram. Matt Oxman

November 23, 2011

SPORTS TOP 10

The Eyeopener 17

Basketball

#2

Jahmal Jones accomplished more in his first year at Ryerson than most university student athletes do in their entire careers. Having averaged 17.3 points per game in his rookie season, Jones led the Rams to their best playoff finish since 2003 and was named to the OUA all-star team. The Rams floor general has quickly become the new face of Ryerson basketball, and arguably the new face of Ryerson athletics. During the off-season, when most athletes take time off to rest their bodies, Jones continued to refine his game by representing Canada at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) games in August and more recently at the Pan Am Games in October. Playing against some of the best basketball players in the world (including Puerto Rican J.J Barea, the point guard for the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks) showed Jones there are still many aspects of his game that need improvement and the 20-year-old Mississauga native is ready to get to work. I see it as a challenge to exceed what we did the previous year, said Jones, who is averaging 18.5 points per game this season. People like to use the word potential with our group but as [assistant] coach [Jermaine] Small says potential is nothing if you dont fulfill it. While starting off the regular season 1-3 wasnt ideal for Jones and the Rams, the sophomore point guard has no doubt that once the team gets healthy that theyll be legitimate contenders in the OUA and possibly make a championship run come February. Regardless of how the team finishes this season, one thing is certain: the future of the mens basketball relies heavily on the play of their explosive young point guard. Gabriel Lee

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November 23, 2011

As the final whistle blew, the womens soccer team walked off the Varsity Centres turf with with their heads down. Not only had they dropped their first playoff appearance in three years to U of T, but that loss marked the end of something greater. The Andrea Raso era of Ryerson soccer had officially come to an end.

#1
Soccer

Without a doubt the best player in Ryersons womens soccer programs history, Raso finished her career as a Ram on a high note. This past season was a historic one for the program, as the team completed the regular season with a program-best six wins and they reached the post-season for only the third time in 26 years. Those milestones would not have been reached without Raso. In the 21 seasons before she was on the team, the womens soccer program had a combined record of 16 wins, 194 losses and 13 ties. In Rasos five years with the Rams, they won 24 games. Throughout her career, Raso amassed a team-high 19 goals and was named to five straight OUA all-star teams. In 2008, she became Ryersons first ever-female CIS All-Canadian. This past season, she scored six goals and was named a first-team OUA all-star. At the time I didnt know that I was the first ever, she said in reference to being named all-Canadian. It feels good to be recognized by the league and across Canada. It means a lot to me. When faltering programs turn around, credit often goes to big-name coaches, increased funding or state-of-the-art facilities. Often forgotten are the athletes on the field. In the history of womens soccer at Ryerson, there has never been a greater player than Andrea Raso.

Charles Vanegas

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