GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum College women’s soccer team will face four programs that advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament last season, including the defending Southeast Region champion, announced Pioneer head coach Mike Joy Wednesday with the release of the 2010 schedule. (Click here for full schedule)
This year’s 18-match slate will once again be one of the toughest schedules in the nation, with the Pioneers squaring off against four NCAA Tournament teams from last season in addition to two conference champions and two conference tournament champions.
The Pioneers return 16 letter-winners from last season’s 15-5-3 squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years. Tusculum will open the 2010 campaign in Commerce, Texas where the Pioneers will face Texas A&M-Commerce and defending South Central Region champion West Texas A&M on Sep. 4 and 6.
Tusculum will then return to Greeneville for a pair of matches to open its home slate. The Pioneers will take the pitch against Milligan College on Sep. 10 in their home opener, before squaring off against defending Peach Belt Conference Tournament champion Armstrong Atlantic on Sep. 13.
After the brief home stand, Coach Joy’s squad will make the trek down to Columbus, Ga. for a Sep. 17 showdown with 2007 national champion Tampa. The Pioneers faced the Spartans in a titanic clash last September, emerging from the battle with a 3-2 win which marked the program’s first-ever victory against Tampa. Tusculum will then complete the weekend with a Sunday (Sep. 19) matchup against West Georgia in Carrollton, Ga.
The Pioneers will open South Atlantic Conference play on Sep. 22 at Mars Hill, before returning home to Pioneer Field for a Sep. 25 showdown with SAC rival Wingate. Tusculum is back on the road for a pair of matchups with Brevard and Newberry on Sep. 28 and Oct. 2, respectively. The Oct. 2 tilt with Newberry will be a rematch of the Pioneers’ thrilling 2-1 win over the Wolves in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season.
Tusculum then takes a three-match hiatus from conference play, returning to Greeneville for an Oct. 6 matchup with King (Tenn.) before hitting the road for matches at Barton (Oct. 9) and Pfeiffer (Oct. 13). The Pioneers then enter the final stretch of the regular season, returning home to battle new conference member Anderson on Oct. 16 ahead of a pair of road matches at Lincoln Memorial (Oct. 19) and Catawba (Oct. 22).
Coach Joy’s squad then wraps up the regular season with a pair of pivotal matchups at Pioneer Field against archrival Carson-Newman (Oct. 27) before taking on Lenoir-Rhyne in the season finale on Oct. 30. The Pioneers are expected to contend for the SAC title once again, returning seven of their top 10 scorers from a season ago, including two-time NSCAA All-American Courtney Turner.
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