Goals can be hard to come by when you have spent much of your NCAA soccer career as a central defender. That’s why Olivia Sheppard will certainly cherish her performance on Sunday night.
The 20-year-old South Delta Secondary graduate scored her first-ever collegiate goal in the Princeton Tigers 2-1 home field win over Hofstra.
Getting just her second start of the season in midfield, Sheppard scored 94-seconds into the match for the nationally 23rd-ranked Tigers. She converted a pass from Tomi Kennedy from about 10-yards out.
Princeton took a 2-0 lead before Hofstra cut the deficit in half before the interval. The win improved the Tigers to 5-1-0 on the season with a big test up next on Thursday when No. 8 and Big East favourite Georgetown University.
Sheppard earned a lucrative student aid deal to the renowned Ivy League school after an outstanding youth career that included two years in the Whitecaps Elite Girls Program which paved the way for the Princeton offer. She also helped the Sun Devils win silver and bronze medals in her Grades 10 and 12 years respectively.
The pre-med student has been a fixture in the Tigers’ starting 11 since her freshman season, helping them them reach the quarter-finals of last year’s NCAA Championships before falling to UCLA.
Through the Princeton Internship in Civics Service (PICS) program, she spent this summer working in the paediatric department at a children’s hospital in France.
Closer to home, another SDSS grad helped Trinity Western University to a pair of big Canada West wins over UVic and UBC on the weekend.
Fifth-year goalkeeper Rachel Sydor was credited with seven saves in Friday's 3-1 win against Victoria. She also turned aside two shots in Sunday's 4-1 triumph over UBC.