Shepherd Lacrosse (8-6) traveled to UVA- Wise, for the Mountain East Conference tournament Friday 5/5/18, to faceoff against Wheeling Jesuit University (6-10) in the semifinals. The Rams played tough and prevailed in the second half, winning 12-11. Advancing to the MEC Championship game.
In the previous matchup between these two teams, in Wheeling WV, Jesuit had a strong second half to give them the edge 9-8.
The Cardinals took an early two score lead, scoring at the 25:57 mark and seconds later at the 25:45 mark. Jesuit’s hot start forced Head Coach Jenny Cavey to call a timeout.
After the timeout, Shepherd regathered themselves and established their offensive attack, creating shots for one another, and applying pressure to the Cardinal defense. Senior midfielder Sarah Wendt would get on the board first for the Rams, at the 16 minute mark, Wendt raced pass defenders and aimed right through the back of the net.
Sophomore Lillian Funke joined the party seconds later scoring a goal assisted by sophomore Elishia Davis. The Rams offensive surge wouldn’t end their as freshman Jordan Sauro capitalized on a free position shot.
Right before going into halftime, at the 1:42 mark freshman Sidney Kelly would score a goal inside the box, giving the Rams a five to four lead at the break.
Shepherd won the battle on ground balls collecting 32 compared to Jesuit’s 27, although Jesuit took a total of 34 shots with 22 on goal while Shepherd had 31 shots with 19 on goal.
Just like the first half the Cardinals started off hot, scoring two back to back goals. Shepherd remained poise and had an answer for the Cardinals as Davis scored on a free position shot, tying the game up at six.
Midway through the second half, both teams took turns delivering blows (goals), to one another. Davis would finesse her way to a second goal, and Wendt would also continue her strong senior campaign.Wendt led all scorers with five goals in the game, majority of them coming in the second half.
At the 7:49 mark sophomore Emily Brown, scored a goal inside the box, giving the Rams a 10-8 lead.
With 6 minutes left in the game, Wheeling Jesuits goal got erased, due to an illegal stick. Jesuits Head Coach was furious and yelled at the officials who gave her two yellow cards which results in a ejection.
Wendt scored two late goals to give Shepherd a comfortable lead, late in the game. Shepherd started to celebrate as the game clock reached a minute. Wheeling would score two goals in the last minute due to the early celebrating by the Rams.
The Rams will face UVA- Wise in the MEC championship game Sunday May 6, at 1 p.m. , in Wise Virginia.
Justin Cole is a Sports Writer for the Picket, he can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org