Shepherd women’s soccer loses in MEC semifinals to #1 West Virginia Wesleyan 1-0.

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Senior Taylor Harwood heading a corner kick in a previous game against Fairmont State. (Photo Courtesy of Shepherd University's Athletics Department.)

The Shepherd women’s soccer team got knocked out of the semifinals of the MEC Tournament by West Virginia Wesleyan, the MEC’s top seed, by a 1-0 score Thursday, Nov. 3, in Buckhannon, W.Va.

Early in the game, Wesleyan would try to get things going on offense, as they had a series of corner kicks. However, they could not get one past junior goalkeeper Christi LaBella, who had five saves on the day.

The Rams’ game plan coming in was to rely on their great team chemistry and have a good number of set plays, creating opportunities for themselves, as coach Jonathan Thayil said earlier this week.

The Bobcats showed why they won 16 games on the season by only allowing Shepherd to post five shot, as just three were on goal throughout the whole game.

In comparison, Wesleyan had 16 shots, with six of them being on goal. The Bobcats’ defense looked sharp and disciplined, playing Shepherd aggressively and making it hard for them to get things going.

The first half would end scoreless, as both teams’ defenders proved that they were not going to be defeated easily.

As the second half got under way, both teams came out aggressively, as there were 12 fouls in the second half.

At the 61:09 mark, Wesleyan’s Audrey Barber would score off a rebound off the crossbar from teammate Kelsie Hibbs, making the score 1-0 in favor of the Bobcats.

After the score, the Bobcats definitely took control of the momentum, as the Rams played in a hurry for the rest of the game.

In the final minutes of the game, Shepherd had the ball on the Bobcats’ side of the field trying to come away with a goal to tie up the game. On a late corner kick by senior Brianna Gorman, Shepherd would get fouled, resulting in a free kick. However, Bobcats goalkeeper Chelsea Hubner would make a clutch save.

Later on, time would expire, ending the Rams’ season.

With the win, West Virginia Wesleyan advanced to the MEC Championship Game on Sunday at Culpeper Stadium. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

Justin Cole is a Sports Writer for the Picket. He can be reached at jcole07@rams.shepherd.edu