WOMEN'S SOCCER POISED FOR RUN AT 2009 SAC TITLEAugust 26, 2009GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum women’s soccer program enters the 2009 season with a wealth of talent and youth, having brought in a deep recruiting class to augment the returning squad from last season. Following the program’s 11th consecutive winning season in which the Pioneers posted a 10-9-1 record, Head Coach Mike Joy’s squad is poised to take advantage of an added year of experience and return to the top form the program is accustomed to.
Tusculum struggled to find its stride in 2008, entering a South Atlantic Conference match against Carson-Newman at the midway point of the season with a 5-3-1 record. Following back-to-back road losses, the Pioneers responded with four wins in their next six matches to gain new life in the quest for a slot in the Food Lion SAC Tournament.
Coach Joy’s squad returns five starters from last season’s team, including Daktronics Division II All-Southeast Region Second Team selection Michelle Meade and All-SAC Second Team honoree Courtney Turner. With a healthy combination of youth, talent, and experience, Tusculum will be competing for a SAC title and a run into the postseason.
A pair of freshmen is projected to begin the season in the starting 11 for Coach Joy, as newcomers Tramicka James and Kayla Durden bring a dangerous mix of speed and finishing ability to the pitch for the Pioneers. James, a native of Wilson, N.C., joins the Pioneers as a two-time All-State performer out of Ralph Fike High School where she scored at least 20 goals in three consecutive seasons. Durden, a native of Covington, Ky., comes to Tusculum from Calvary Christian High School where she was an All-American performer as a senior, scoring a school-record 18 goals.
Senior Ashley Bradford returns to provide depth off the bench for the Pioneers. The London, Ky. native played in 18 matches last season, scoring two goals and recording an assist. Freshman Kourtney Kavic, native of Oakville, Ontario, will also see significant playing time in the attacking third for the Pioneers after a solid preseason. Senior Holli Cadenhead, a native of Van Vleck, Texas, saw action in nine matches last season, tallying two assists. Freshman Aly Carrino, a native of Greeneville, Tenn., joins the Pioneers from Greeneville High School where she was an All-District performer in 2008.
The midfield will have a mix of new and old faces for the Pioneers this season with returners Lisa Andriano, Amber Bradley, and Meade returning to fill three of the starting midfield slots. Meade, a native of Greeneville, Tenn., returns for her sophomore season after leading the team and finishing second in the conference with nine assists last year. Joining her in the center midfield is Andriano, a junior from Toronto, Ontario, who saw action in 18 matches for the Pioneers last season, including six starts. Bradley, a native of Kent, Wash., rounds out the returning midfield starters for Tusculum. The 5-2 junior was a staple in the opening lineup for the Pioneers last season, starting every match while scoring two goals and adding three assists. Joining Andriano, Bradley and Meade in the starting midfield this season is Robin Smith, a senior transfer from Winthrop University and native of Greenwood, S.C.
Patience Leonard, a sophomore from Greeneville, Tenn., will see significant playing time in the midfield for the Pioneers, returning for her second season after posting two goals i