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November 4, 2013 | by Joey Kaye
Men’s Soccer Overview; Women’s Soccer in Limbo

The 2013 regular season for the Shepherd University men’s and women’s soccer teams has come to an end. The women finished their season with a two-game winning streak and now await to be notified if they qualified for the Mountain East Conference championship after the conclusion of other matches that have yet to be played. On the other hand, the men’s soccer team struggled the entire season and managed to claim only two victories over the span of a fairly disappointing campaign. Both teams clearly came into the season looking for better results; however, with the start of the off-season, both teams will begin working to improve and play better next year.

The women’s soccer team traveled to Urbana, Ohio on Sunday, Oct. 27 and defeated Urbana University by a final score of 2–0. The Rams jumped out to the lead at the 33:09 mark when senior Morgan Gabriel scored off an assist from sophomore Kelsey Fletcher. They then added an insurance goal at the 40-minute mark when junior Taylor Amsley scored from open play unassisted. The Rams kept the ball on the opponent’s side of the field for the majority of the game and thus held the advantage in shots with an impressive 21.

In their final game of the season at the Shepherd Soccer Complex, the women’s soccer team celebrated senior day with a 1–0 overtime goal over West Liberty. The Rams had numerous scoring opportunities as they took 24 shots in the game and for much of it they seemed to stay put in front of the Hilltopper’s goal. Nonetheless, both defenses remained consistently stubborn and neither team hit the back of the net until the 93:31 mark when Taylor Amsley scored off a pass from junior Kelsey J. Smith to lift the Rams to the win and conclude their regular season in very exciting fashion.

The men’s team finished their season with nine straight losses and they recently dropped games to Urbana, Bloomsburg and #20 West Chester. On Oct. 27, MEC rival Urbana defeated the Rams 2–0. The Blue Knights took a 1–0 lead at the 24:18 mark when Ed Willoughby passed the ball to Tyler Wilson who subsequently broke through the Shepherd defense and scored. They added an insurance goal at the 34:50 mark when Mike McFarlane scored to give Urbana a 2–0 lead. On Oct. 29, the men’s soccer team came close but failed to claim their third win this season as Bloomsburg defeated the Rams 2–1. The Huskies tallied the first two goals of the games with the first coming at the 24:25 mark when Mike Bamford scored off a pass from Josh Smith. Bamford was also responsible for the second goal as he scored at the 35-minute mark. The Rams attempted to rebound in the second half, and at the 83:32 mark senior Kevin Doyle scored off an assist from freshman Drew Rose to cut the lead to 2–1. Despite a pair of shots on goal in the final minutes of the game, Shepherd was unable to score again and complete the rally.

Their final game of the season on Oct. 31 against #20 West Chester was a complete disappointment and it symbolized many of the struggles and issues that have plagued the Rams throughout the 2013 campaign. The contest resulted in a loss for Shepherd by a score of 7–1, with their only goal coming from senior William Brown at the 62:07 mark. The men’s soccer team completes their season with a 2–15–1 overall record and they failed to claim at least one victory in Mountain East Conference action.

It can now be confirmed that the Shepherd University women’s soccer team will indeed be allowed into the inaugural Mountain East Conference postseason. It is unknown at this time who their first opponent will be, but based on the rough season both the women and men endured on the pitch, Coach Thayil will be very happy to know that one of his teams will indeed still be competing after the conclusion of the regular season.
Joey Kaye

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