ROCK HILL, S.C. --- The Tusculum College women’s soccer team has been picked as the favorite to win the 2010 South Atlantic Conference championship in a vote of the league’s head coaches, announced conference officials Wednesday. The Pioneers also placed four players on the Preseason All-Conference teams, including first team selections Tramicka James (Wilson, N.C.) and Courtney Turner (Cocoa Beach, Fla.).
Tusculum received seven of 10 first-place votes and totaled 97 points in the poll after finishing last season second in the conference standings. The Pioneers are primed for a deep run into the NCAA Division II postseason, returning 16 letter-winners and eight starters from last season’s 15-5-3 squad that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Carson-Newman, which captured the regular season title last fall, is picked to finish second with two first-place votes and a total of 79 points. Wingate is tabbed third in the poll with 75 points, followed by Lenoir-Rhyne with one first-place vote and 67 points. Newberry is picked to finish with 67 points, followed by Catawba (61), Lincoln Memorial (41), Brevard (23), Anderson (22), and Mars Hill (20).
James, a sophomore from Wilson, N.C., paced the Pioneers with a tremendous freshman campaign last season, tallying 11 goals, eight assists, and 30 points to rank among the top 5 conference players in each category. The 5-4 forward garnered numerous honors last season, including a spot on the NSCAA/adidas NCAA Division II All-Southeast Region First Team.
Turner returns for her senior year after posting a terrific campaign for the Pioneers last fall, netting three goals while tallying a career-high eight assists. The 5-3 midfielder earned a multitude of awards last season, including a spot on the NSCAA/adidas NCAA Division II All-America Second Team, making her the second player in program history to be an All-American twice by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Joining James and Turner on the Preseason All-SAC teams are juniors Michelle Meade (Greeneville, Tenn.) and Claire Duncan (Greeneville, Tenn.), who were both named to the second team. Meade led the Pioneers in assists for the second straight season as a sophomore, tallying 10 helpers to also lead the conference in that category. Duncan posted a tremendous sophomore season as well, scoring a career-high six goals to earn a spot on the Daktronics NCAA Division II All-Southeast Region Second Team.
Tusculum opens the season on Sep. 4 when the Pioneers take on Texas A&M Commerce in Commerce, Texas. Match time is slated for 2 p.m.
- SAC -
2010 SAC Preseason Women's Soccer Coaches' Poll
Rk. Team (1st place votes) Pts.
1. Tusculum (7) 97
2. Carson-Newman (2) 79
3. Wingate 75
4. Lenoir-Rhyne (1) 67
5. Newberry 65
6. Catawba 61
7. Lincoln Memorial 41
8. Brevard 23
9. Anderson 22
10. Mars Hill 20
2010 Preseason All-SAC Women's Soccer Teams
Forward - Trenna Howell, Carson-Newman
Forward - Elizabeth Hawes, Lenoir-Rhyne
Forward - Laura Linehan, Lenoir-Rhyne
Forward – Tramika James, Tusculum
Midfielder - Andrea Saevik, Carson-Newman
Midfielder – Leanne Reid, Lincoln Memorial
Midfielder - Courtney Turner, Tusculum
Midfielder – Morgan Gruenenfelder, Carson-Newman
Defender - Melissa Morris, Carson-Newman
Defender - Alexa Baird, Catawba
Defender - Catherine Hauck, Lenoir-Rhyne
Defender - Megan Mastalerz, Wingate
Goalkeeper - Emily Rhoades, Newberry
Forward – Becky Thompson, Lincoln Memorial
Forward - Kelly Adams, Wingate
Forward - Kerstin Williams, Wingate
Forward – Jessica Kleinburg, Anderson
Midfielder - Morgan Gruenenfelder, Carson-Newman
Midfielder - Katie Gair, Catawba
Midfielder – Andrea Dunshie, Catawba
Midfielder – Sarah Taylor, Lincoln Memorial
Midfielder – Amberly Fowler, Newberry
Midfielder – Michelle Meade, Tusculum
Defender - Raquel Abrile, Lincoln Memorial
Defender – Marisa DiMarco, Catawba
Defender – Megan Douglas, Newberry
Defender – Claire Duncan, Tusculum
Goalkeeper – Lindsey Webster, Catawba