Shepherd lacrosse (7-6, 3-2 MEC), played with great intensity Sunday April 29, in Shepherdstown in their conference matchup against UVA Wise (12-4, 5-0 MEC), unfortunately they would lose in overtime 11-10.
The Rams started the game with high energy, scoring the first goal of the game at the 28:32 mark.Freshman Sidney Kelly would put one in the back of the net off an assist from Regan Brown.
Wise came into the game as the number one seed in the Mountain East Conference so Shepherd would have their hands full throughout the game.
The Cavaliers would answer back as Rachel Cole would score a goal assisted by her teammate Hannah Marshal. A minute after that Kristan Gobbi would add another goal for the Cavs. Less than a minute after Gobbi scored, Jesse French would join the attack scoring an assisted goal from Sydney Steinberg.
Kelly would help bring the Rams back as she scored another goal off an assist by Lillian Funke.
Shepherd matched up well with UVA-Wise statistically, as they tied Wise with 37 shots with 28 on goal. Shepherd would also get the edge in ground balls with 31 compared to Wise 26. Shepherd also forced Wise to foul them 50 times, earning them 16 free position shots.
At the end of the first half the Rams would get offensive production from senior Sarah Wendt, as she scored three goals in the first half. Two of those goals came at the end of the first half, giving Shepherd a 6-4 lead going into halftime.
The second half was even more physical and intense than the first half, as every time Shepherd got the ball Wise either got a clean check or a hard foul.
Nine minutes into the second half Kelly would score her third goal of the game, the freshman stepped up to the plate, as Wise focused heavily on Funke, Elishia Davis and Wendt.
Wise turned some of that defensive intensity into their offense as French would score on an assisted goal from McKayla Grasham. Gobbi would finesse her 45 goal of the season shortly after at the 17:54 mark. A minute later Cole of Wise would tie the game up at eight as she scored on an assisted goal from Steinberg.
Gobbi would score again for Wise at the 12:45 mark, but their lead would not last long as Emily Brown would capitalize on a free position shot seconds later at the 12:21 mark.
Funke would force a turnover, and then counter attack with her own unassisted goal. Giving the Rams the lead with six minutes left. Both teams turned the ball over in the final minutes, desperately trying to add another goal.
Wise would force a turnover and clear the ball into Shepherd’s territory, and Grasham would tie the game up at ten.
With 13 seconds left to go in regulation Funke, earned a free position shot and a chance to seal the game. Funke charged at the keeper and fired but goalkeeper Melanie Reilly would come up with a clutch save.
In overtime, both teams didn’t get many opportunities at the net, as Shepherd had zero shot attempts in overtime and Wise had one. The Rams started to run out of gas in OT, as they played hard the whole game, matching Wise intensity. With 1:04 on the clock Grasham would come up clutch once again, shooting a dagger to end the game.
The Rams will travel to UVA-Wise Friday, May 4 to compete in the MEC tournament, they wil face off against Wheeling Jesuit inn the semifinals.
Justin Cole is a Sports Writer for the Piicket, he can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org