Ryan Ruta (1994-97) used his speed to motor and his feet to maneuver around opponents on the pitch during a tremendous four-year run for the men’s soccer program.
The midfielder found ways to make those around him better. He distributed the ball with accuracy and skill. At the conclusion of his playing career, Ruta ranked number-one on the all-time charts for career assists with 17 and second in single-season assists with seven during his sophomore season. He was then named to the Western Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Soccer Conference All-Star Team. In addition, Ruta earned MVP honors after Behrend captured the Lochbaum Tournament title.
As a senior, Ruta led the Behrend Lions to the school record for wins with 12 in 1997. His career culminated with a 1-0 win over Frostburg State in the inaugural AMCC Soccer Championships. In the 75thminute of the scoreless contest, Ruta’s pass to Thomas Helmkamp proved to be the game-winning goal and earn the program’s first league title.
Ruta was then selected as Behrend’s Scholar Athlete of the Year and the winner of the Herb Lauffer Leadership and Scholarship award. He played in a then program record 71 matches, and ranks in the top twenty-five for career points.
The Gates-Chilli High School product also led the blue and white to 38 wins over his four years, and the team’s first-ever regional ranking.
Ruta is a process engineer for Javlyn, Incorporated in Rochester, New York.