IJ Women’s Football Player of the Year: Marin Catholic’s Zoe Shepherd

Zoe Berger

Marin Catholic Women’s Soccer, Senior

Hardly anyone garnered as much defensive attention last season as Zoe Shepherd.

“It’s great to have Zoe on our team and to be the threat that everyone is worried about and doubling teams,” MC coach Kellis Johnson said. “There hasn’t been a game we’ve played this season that they haven’t tried to tag Zoe with a double team or a man tag.”

Despite all the attention, Shepherd was tied for the league lead with 21 goals in 16 MCAL games – a feat that helped her land MCAL Player of the Year honors as voted by league coaches.

Shepherd was even more prolific in the playoffs against teams that perhaps didn’t know her as well, scoring seven times in two games to help MC advance to the North Coast Section semi-finals.

As a result, Shepherd emerged from a group of talented athletes as the IJ’s pick for Women’s Soccer Player of the Year. Redwood’s Briana Salvetti, Tam’s Yuna McCormack and Marin Academy’s Rebecca Sherry also had great seasons last year.

After scoring six goals as a sophomore and seven in a COVID-shortened season as a junior, Shepherd combined his ability to run runs on multiple defenders with a penchant for finding the back of the net as a senior.

One of Shepherd’s signature goals this season came in MCAL’s final game of the regular season against Archie Williams – a game MC needed a result to keep their MCAL playoff hopes alive. Shepherd made a solo run from midfield, turned his defender in and out several times, then finished just outside the penalty area with his weaker left foot.

“It was an important, pressure-filled game,” Shepherd said. “It was good to have it early. Obviously, the result ended in a draw, but (the first goal) it helped relieve the pressure of the game a bit.

Shepherd, who has said she would like to play professionally after college, will head to the University of Arkansas next season.

Shepherd said she felt an instant connection with the coaching staff, who sold her to Arkansas as a place where she could be a big fish playing with other big fish that can help her grow. as a player.

“It’s the environment I’m so excited to play in,” Shepherd said. “It’s just a dream to be able to go to a place like that.”