TC Sports

Pioneers set to battle Carson-Newman in SAC quarterfinals

Teams to meet for sixth time in conference playoffs

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum College will travel to Carson-Newman College Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Women's Soccer Tournament.

The Pioneers are the seventh seed in the tournament after completing the regular season with an 8-8-1 overall record and a 3-5-1 mark in SAC play. The Eagles, who shared the regular-season conference championship with Lenoir-Rhyne and are the two-time defending tournament champions, are seeded second and carry an 11-6 overall record and an 8-1 SAC record into the postseason.

Both Tusculum and Carson-Newman have won four SAC Tournament championships, with the Pioneers capturing the crown in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005 and the Eagles claiming the title in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009.

The teams have met five previous times in the SAC Tournament, with the Pioneers winning four of the five matches. The Eagles' lone win came by a 3-2 score in the 2004 championship match, while the last meeting came in the 2007 quarterfinals and resulted in a 2-1 win by the visiting Pioneers. Overall, the teams have met 28 times with 13 wins apiece and two ties.

Tusculum and Carson-Newman will be meeting just six days after their regular-season contest, which the Eagles won 3-2 at Pioneer Field Wednesday night. The match was tied 1-1 before Carson-Newman scored goals in the 77th and 82nd minutes to take a 3-1 lead, but Tusculum came back with a goal in the final 40 seconds to pull within 3-2 and nearly tied the game in the closing moments.

Sophomore forward Tramicka James has been the catalyst for the Pioneer offense, scoring 16 goals to rank in the top 10 in the latest NCAA Division II statistics. Over the last eight matches, James has tallied 13 goals and three assists for 32 points, including a pair of hat tricks.

James' 16 goals are tied for sixth on the program's single-season list, while her 27 career tallies place her in sole possession of seventh place all-time at Tusculum.

Junior midfielder Michelle Meade has added eight goals and six assists for 22 points, senior midfielder Courtney Turner has chipped in with four goals and seven assists for 15 points and junior forward Patience Leonard has contributed three goals and a team-high nine assists for 15 points.

Sophomore Rachael Jennings has emerged as the Pioneers' starting goalkeeper and has a 6-4-1 overall record with three shutouts, a 1.43 goals against average and a .766 save percentage.

Carson-Newman has won eight straight matches since a 2-1 loss to Lenoir-Rhyne on October 2, including four one-goal wins. Trenna Howell leads the Eagles in scoring with 12 goals and 28 points, while Morgan Gruenenfelder has also reached double figures in goals with 10.

Sarah Tompkins has started 12 of the Eagles' 17 matches in goal and has a 1.43 goals against average and a strong .798 save percentage.

In other quarterfinal matches on Tuesday, top-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne will host eighth-seeded Lincoln Memorial, sixth-seeded Catawba will travel to third-seeded Wingate and fifth-seeded Mars Hill will journey to fourth-seeded Newberry.

Quarterfinal winners advance to the tournament semifinals, which will be held at Manchester Meadows Soccer Complex in Rock Hill, S.C. on Friday, November 5. The two women’s semifinals will be played at 3 p.m., and the winner of the Carson-Newman and Tusculum match will play the winner of the match between Catawba and Wingate while the Lenoir-Rhyne/Lincoln Memorial winner will play the winner between Mars Hill and Newberry.

The women’s tournament championship will be Sunday, November 7 at 1 p.m. at Manchester Meadows Soccer Complex. The championship match will be videostreamed live over the Internet.

Admission to all Food Lion South Atlantic Conference tournament events is $5 for adults and $2 for college students and children 13 and under.

Fans showing their Food Lion MVP card can save $1 off the adult admission price. Also, the South Atlantic Conference is collecting new, unused soccer balls, footballs or basketballs during the semifinals and championships in conjunction with WRHI’s Toys for Happiness campaign for Christmas gifts for underprivileged children. Fans donating a ball will receive two complimentary admissions.

Tuesday, November 2
Food Lion SAC Tournament quarterfinals
At higher seed
No. 8 Lincoln Memorial at No. 1 Lenoir-Rhyne, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Tusculum at No. 2 Carson-Newman, 6 p.m.
No. 6 Catawba at No. 3 Wingate, 7 p.m.
No. 5 Mars Hill at No. 4 Newberry, 3 p.m.

Friday, November 5
Food Lion SAC Tournament Semifinals
At Manchester Meadows, Rock Hill, SC
Lenoir-Rhyne / Lincoln Memorial winner vs. Newberry / Mars Hill winner, 3 p.m.
Wingate / Catawba winner vs. Carson-Newman / Tusculum winner, 3 p.m.

Sunday, November 7
Food Lion SAC Tournament Championship
At Manchester Meadows, Rock Hill, SC
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

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