ROCK HILL, S.C. --- Tusculum College senior defender Ashley Bradford and freshman goalkeeper Marjaana Kaaresvirta were named to the 2009 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference All-Tournament Team on Sunday following the conclusion of the championship match.
Bradford, a senior from London, Ky., has been a critical component of the Pioneers’ remarkable turnaround this season, answering the call countless times this fall to mark and shut down opposing teams’ top players. The 5-7 defender has come through in the clutch several times this season, scoring three match-winners this fall to tie James for the team lead. Bradford’s three deciding goals came in three consecutive matches early this season, as the senior defender netted the match-winners against Southern Virginia (Sep. 11), Lynn (Sep. 13), and Pfeiffer (Sep. 16).
Kaaresvirta, a freshman from Turka, Finland, has stepped in and provided a solid backbone to the Pioneer defense at goalkeeper, posting a 5-2-3 record and notching four clean sheets in 10 matches this season. The 5-9 goalkeeper averaged nearly eight saves per match this season for the Pioneers, including five contests in which she stopped at least nine attempts on goal. Kaaresvirta allowed one goal or less in seven matches, including four clean sheets against conference opponents.
The Pioneers were knocked out of the Food Lion SAC Tournament in the semifinal round on Friday, as Lenoir-Rhyne edged Tusculum 4-3 in a penalty kick shootout to advance to Sunday’s championship match. Tusculum now awaits word on a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Division II national tournament; the field will be announced later this weekend.
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2009 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference All-Tournament Team
Alyssa Retundie, Catawba
Tasha Wilhelm, Catawba
Marjaana Kaaresvirta, Tusculum
Ashley Bradford, Tusculum
Catherine Hauck, Lenoir-Rhyne
Kaelia Frazier, Lenoir-Rhyne
Katelyn Burwell, Lenoir-Rhyne
Morgan Gruenenfelder, Carson-Newman
Brianna Buckley, Carson-Newman
Katie Hunter, Carson-Newman
Sandra Kaelin, Carson-Newman (MVP)