Shepherdstown, W.Va., – The Shepherd men’s soccer team took to the home turf a week after their 0-0 tie with Marshall to beat Southern Virginia University 1-0.
SVU (2-5) is currently in their competition season for the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference, meaning they have already played six games prior to the match against Shepherd.
The Shepherd men made it seem like they had already played just as many games as the Knights, connecting passes, creating space, and juking out the SVU players left and right.
Sophomore goalkeeper Billy Wood said, “defensively we were very compact and organized. We were able to successfully stop their quick counters.”
“Our front 6 were much better at forcing their defenders into playing in certain areas high up the pitch,” said Wood.
The match was high-intensity throughout but picked up in the second half after senior forward for Shepherd, Adam Rice was fouled in the SVU box.
Rice was given the penalty kick and sunk the ball into the back of the net giving Shepherd the 1-0 lead and firing up SVU players to push harder.
“I wasn’t nervous, I told my roommates I was going straight down the middle no matter what,” said Rice about his penalty kick that lead to the 1-0 win.
The Knights came after Shepherd players and were picking up fouls, giving the Rams more scoring opportunities off of free kicks.
“SVU sat very deep and made it very difficult for us to break them down,” said Wood in regards to the offensive attack on the Knights.
In terms of Shepherd’s playing style this match, “we kept the ball and defended as a unit well,” said Rice.
Brandon Hurt, junior defender, had an astounding game both defensively and when attacking the ball, noted Wood.