With the end of the 2014 regular season approaching, the Shepherd University Women’s Soccer Team has claimed two straight wins and an eighth place ranking in the NCAA Atlantic Region rankings which were recently released on Oct. 22. The Rams were one of four ranked Mountain East Conference teams as the top six teams in the final regional rankings will earn bids to the NCAA Tournament. Furthermore, Shepherd currently sits fourth in the Mountain East Conference women’s soccer standings with a 9-7-1 overall record as of Oct. 25.
The Lady Rams have been consistent on the offensive side of the ball throughout the year as they are averaging 15.8 shots and 1.35 goals per game. However, their defensive play, especially as of late, has been critical to the team’s success as opponents have only scored, on average, 1.12 goals per game. In other words, the Lady Rams’ defense has only been scored on 19 times in 141 shot attempts this season.
Shepherd claimed a 2-1 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan on Oct. 21. It was their fifth win in seven previous contests. The game was scoreless for much of the first half however at the 39:30 mark, the Lady Rams took a 1-0 lead when freshman midfielder Stephanie Cox scored on an assist from senior midfielder Kasey Canterbury. However, the Lady Bobcats responded and they tied the game just minutes later when Morgan Miles scored an unassisted goal in the 43rd minute. Shepherd rallied and broke the stalemate in the 79th minute when freshman forward Tanner Bradley tallied the game winning goal on an assist from Cox.
Shepherd recorded their second straight win with a narrow 1-0 victory against Urbana University on Oct. 25. The Lady Rams dominated much of the game on both sides of the ball, however they were unable to take advantage of several opportunities to score. They had a 23-3 advantage in shots with nine of those being shots on goal. Both teams had difficulty getting on the scoreboard until midway through the second half when senior defender Kelsey J. Smith scored on a free kick at the 72:05 mark to help lift her team to the win on Senior Day over Urbana.
The Lady Rams will play their final game of the 2014 regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 29 when they travel to West Liberty.