Before the season even started, the Shepherd University Rams were picked to win the inaugural Mountain East Conference championship. On Sunday, April 19, they showed why they were picked as the favorite, defeating Urbana University 21-3 to finish 5-0 in conference play.
“We set our sights high in the beginning of the year, and it’s really nice to see it come to fruition at the end,” Coach Meghan Keelan said. “We’re looking forward to a couple weeks from now, hosting the tournament.”
Freshman midfielder Courtney Matthews and sophomore midfielder Haley Price each had a game-high four goals for the Rams.
Junior midfielder Erin Phelan added three goals. She leads the team with 41 goals on the season.
Attacker Kelsey Eagan picked up her 100th career goal with the Rams in the second half for her only goal of the game.
With 2:24 remaining in the second half and the Rams holding a comfortable 18-3 lead, senior attacker Hayley Roper scored her first career goal with an assist coming from Georgia Karr. Karr had one goal and three assists in the game.
Despite the large victory, the beginning of the first half was tightly contested, with Shepherd leading the Blue Knight 4-3 through the first 16 minutes. The Rams went on to score the next 17 goals.
“Today, we got off to a slow start,” Keelan said. “But once we got it going, we remembered what we came here to do.”
Shepherd will enter the MEC tournament as the first seed and will host the tournament. Semifinals action will be played on Thursday, April 30 and the finals will be on Saturday, May 2. For the Rams, they are thinking about winning the conference title.
“It means everything,” Keelan said. “They’ve been working really hard from September on. I really want it for them and I know they’ve worked for it.”