Sunday afternoon Sept. 2, the Shepherd women’s soccer team played in a non-conference expedition against Kutztown University in Shepherdstown. The Rams fell short as the Bears scored two goals in the second half to give them the victory, 2-0.
Going into the game Shepherd knew they had a tough opponent ahead, as the Bears of Kutztown were ranked number one in the country at one point last year led by head coach Erik Burstein. The Rams would not back down from the competition, as they didn’t allow the Bears to score in the first half.
Kutztown midfielders played aggressively throughout the first half challenging balls and maintaining possession. Shepherd didn’t have many opportunities offensively since they only had a total of three shots the whole game.
Defensively, the Rams did a great job, as their defenders cut off attackers and cleared the ball out of the box. Freshman goalie Lulu Fricks had some impressive saves, one when a Bears striker tried to kick one to the left bottom corner but Fricks dove fully extended with her eyes timing the ball up perfectly for her to deflect the ball. Fricks had five saves on the day.
As the game transitioned to the second half, the heat began to take a toll on both teams, as players were constantly wiped sweat from their brows.
There was confusion six minutes into the second half because a Kutztown player fired the ball and it hit the pole on top of the box. But the official ruled that the ball went into the net giving the Bears a 1-0 lead.
At the 70:48 mark, goalie Meghan Byers made a costly mistake as she went to pass it to her teammate, the ball was intercepted by Kristina Miller of Kutztown, who then chipped the ball into the back of the net, giving the Bears their second score.
Unfortunately, the Rams didn’t have any shots on goal in the second half as they spent most of their time keeping Kutztown’s fast forwards out of the box. The time expired, handing the Rams their second loss on the season.
“We came out and gave 110 percent effort” said head coach Emily Hester in a post-game interview. Hester was pleased with the effort of the team’s performance, and the progress they have made.
Hester said the team needs to be more dynamic on the offensive end when they meet Glenville State in Shepherdstown, Wednesday, Sept. 5.