Algie fits in during freshman soccer season

A revolving door at training camp ended up spinning James Algie into a steady place in the line-up in his first university soccer campaign.
The 19-year-old Fort Frances native saw significant playing time with the Ryerson University men’s soccer team in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference this past fall.
While Ryerson is not noted as a soccer powerhouse in Canadian university sports, a 2-9-1 record in the conference (3-12-1 overall) was good enough for the men’s team to qualify for the OUA playoffs for the first time since the 1960s.
“[Ryerson] was still a college back then,” noted Algie, who is pursuing a B.A. degree in fine arts with an emphasis on film studies there.
“It was nice to accomplish [making the playoffs]. But we know every game we played we could have won,” he added.
Ryerson’s season ended in the quarter-finals in a 5-0 loss to the Brock Badgers, who ended up winning bronze in the OUA playoffs to be one of three teams to advance to the national championship.
The Badgers’ teeth cut the sharpest when it mattered most, though, as they went on to win the national crown in upset fashion.
“It’s a small consolation to know you lost to the champs,” said Algie, whose team lost by scores of 3-0 and 2-0 against Brock during the regular season.
“The 3-0 game was not indicative of how we played. We had only 10 men almost the whole game because of an early red card,” he noted. “Then in the playoffs, we had our worst game of the season.”
Algie, who took turns starting and coming off the bench during the season, came into training camp in August not sure what to expect.
What he faced was an extended identity crisis because with every group of cuts, almost automatically a new group of walk-ons arrived to try and stake their claim to a roster spot.
“I felt like I was a long shot [to make the team],” said Algie.
“Everyone was so skilled, and everyone had played at a much higher level, ever semi-pro or CPSL [Canadian Professional Soccer League], or high-level club teams,” he remarked.
But Algie’s abilities—and 6’4” frame, which made him the tallest player in camp—caught the eye of the Ryerson coaching staff. They found a place for him on the 22-man roster, and Algie quickly reaffirmed his coaches’ faith in him.
“The skill level of the players, their speed, and physical play was the biggest changes from what I was used to,” Algie recalled. “But it wasn’t that hard of an adjustment to make.”
With next season already in his sights, Algie plans to work on his all-around game and conditioning in the months ahead.
He may not be shooting for the moon when his college career is done, but Algie vowed he’ll never lose his passion for the game—and athletics in general.
“I don’t see myself playing pro, but I’ll always play sports somewhere,” he remarked.