It was a fourth successive tie against higher-ranked opposition without a defeat being inflicted – they beat the United States and drew with South African and Ireland before facing India – but next up is the toughest task possible: a semi-final today against Australia, the seventh-ranked in the world rankings to Scotland's 19th and the title favourites. Fifth in the London Olympics, they are not the force they were, though, and had to rely on a goal in the closing minutes to see off South Africa in the quarter-finals.
Shepherd is optimistic: "I believe we can beat Australia; they are good but their style will allow us to play our expansive game, so we will cause them problems. The girls are doing an amazing job; I'm so proud of them. Teamwork was the reason we saw off India, [and the fact that] they are believing in themselves."
The only injury worry is over Morag McLellan who received a cut just above the eye from a stick in the India game. Shepherd will have to wait to see if the eye stays open before including her in the squad.
* Glynhill Kelburne begin their challenge for a ninth consecutive national league title, now sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, and their first visitors to Bellahouston are promoted AAM Gordonians.
The Aberdonians have taken time to adjust to the pace of the top flight – they lost all four games in the Presidents Cup and 20 goals in the process – but Harry Coles, Kelburne's manager, is as cautious as ever. "This is the first opportunity the squad have had to play together as a unit because of international commitments, so we can't take anything for granted. Gordonians have made steady progress over the past couple of seasons," he said.
The Paisley side will be bolstered by the return of Scotland players fresh from their success in the World League last week, but Gareth Hall suffered a back injury and is absent.
AMN Hillhead travel to Grange with some confidence – they won the equivalent fixture 3-2 over the eventual runners-up last season with goals from Andrew Duke (2) and Wei Adams – while Grove Menzieshill, with Scotland players Gavin Byers and Ross Stott back in the ranks, are favourites to see off Edinburgh University on Tayside.
* The leading women's teams, Milne Craig Western and Grove Menzieshill will be without their international players when they contest the final of the Peregrines Cup at Peffermill tomorrow. Grange take on Inverleith in an all-Edinburgh final of the men's Presidents Cup.