The fourth-seeded Shepherd University women’s soccer team traveled to South Euclid, Ohio on Wednesday, Nov. 2 to face top-seeded Notre Dame College in the semifinal round of the Mountain East Conference Women’s Soccer Tournament. The Lady Falcons won both meetings in the regular season by the score of 5-0 and 1-0 and they came out on top in this one as well with a 2-0 win over the Lady Rams to advance to the conference championship game.
Alex Deflippo was able to get Notre Dame on the board first early by scoring off an assist from her teammate Katherine Beattie at the 10:30 mark. As the period continued on, Shepherd tried to respond and they challenged to tie the game with three shots on goal. Notre Dame goalie Samantha Shoemaker made several saves and as a result, none of them were able to find the back of the net.
Just before the halftime break, the Lady Falcons added an insurance goal and took a 2-0 advantage when Natalie Ockunnzi scored off another assist from Beattie at the 40:59 mark. Immediately after the break, in the 46th minute, senior midfielder Kelsey J. Smith took a shot that first appeared as if it would bring the Lady Rams within one goal of tying the game, however it precariously hit the goal post and bounced back onto the field of play. Despite having an 11-7 advantage in shots, Shepherd was never able to get on the scoreboard in the remainder of the match.
Additionally, sophomore goalkeeper Anna Mueller did not record a save in the match while Samantha Shoemaker had six for Notre Dame. Mueller finishes the year with a total of 56 saves and a save percentage of .709. With the loss, the team completes their season with a record of 9-9-1 overall while Notre Dame improves to 13-2-2. They will play second-seeded West Virginia Wesleyan in the women’s soccer conference championship game.
In 297 shot attempts, Shepherd finishes with 24 goals scored during the 2014 campaign. On the other hand, they limited their opponents to 23 goals in 159 shot attempts. They recorded only five assists all season, which ranks second worst among MEC teams.
It should also be noted that before the season concluded, four members of the Shepherd women’s soccer team gained Mountain East Conference honors, which were announced by the league office on Nov. 4. Senior defender Kelsey N. Smith and Kelsey J. Smith each earned First Team All-MEC honors, while freshman defender Regan Stout earned Second Team accolades. Finally, freshman midfielder Stephanie Cox was named to the MEC All-Freshman Team.