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Pioneers to face Wingate in SAC Tournament semifinals on Friday

Tusculum seeks revenge for 2-1 overtime loss in regular season

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- For the third time in the last four years, the Tusculum College women's soccer team will compete in the semifinals of the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament when they take on Wingate University Friday at 3 p.m. at the Manchester Meadows Soccer Complex in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Pioneers (9-8-1), seeded seventh entering the eight-team tournament, advanced with a 1-0 overtime victory at second-seeded Carson-Newman Tuesday night on a goal by Tramicka James with 5:20 left in the first extra period. Third-seeded Wingate moved on with a 1-0 victory over sixth-seeded Catawba in another quarterfinal match.

Tusculum is making its 10th appearance in the SAC semifinals since first gaining eligibility for the conference tournament in 1999. The Pioneers are 5-3-1 all-time in semifinal action, including a loss in penalty kicks to Lenoir-Rhyne last season after playing to a 0-0 tie over 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods.

James' game-winning goal against Carson-Newman was her 17th goal of the season, moving her into sole possession of sixth place on the program's single-season list. Her 28 career goals place her in a tie for fifth all-time at Tusculum with Khristina Shuniak (1990-92) and Becky Carreiro (2003-06).

The Bulldogs (12-2-3) are making their first appearance in the SAC semifinals since 2008 and have won 10 of their last 11 matches. Sophomore midfielder Izabella Miranda scored the game-winning goal in the 37th minute to lift Wingate to the victory, while sophomore goalkeeper Miriam Boucher made three save to help the Bulldogs to their 10th shutout of the year.

Wingate won the regular-season meeting between the two teams 2-1 in overtime on September 25 in Greeneville as Chelsey Horan scored the game-winner with 57 seconds left in the match. The teams have met once previously in the SAC Tournament, with Tusculum earning a 1-0 victory in the 2001 semifinals at Pioneer Field.

Friday's other semifinal match will be between top-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne, a 1-0 winner over Lincoln Memorial, and fourth-seeded Newberry, which downed Mars Hill 2-1. That match will also be played at 3 p.m. on Friday at Manchester Meadows, and the winners will meet Sunday at 1 p.m. for the SAC Tournament championship.

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.

Friday, November 5
Food Lion SAC Tournament Semifinals
At Manchester Meadows, Rock Hill, SC
Lenoir-Rhyne vs. Newberry, 3 p.m.
Wingate vs. Tusculum, 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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