TC Sports

Pioneers take to field for first time in 2011

Hold midnight workout to open preseason practice

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum College women's soccer team wasted no time in opening the first day of preseason practice on Monday, as head coach Mike Joy held fitness testing at 12:01 a.m. on the team's practice field.

A total of 25 players were on hand for day one of camp, which also featured late-morning and mid-afternoon workouts. The Pioneers are preparing for their season opener against Montevallo on Friday, Sept. 2 at 4 p.m. as part of the six-team Tusculum Kickoff Tournament at Pioneer Field.

"Compared to previous years, we had some of our better times in the two-mile run. I am encouraged by that," said Joy, who has accumulated 190 victories, four South Atlantic Conference championships and four SAC Tournament titles in his first 14 years as head coach. "We need to work on our speed and reaction, but we will get better through experience."

In terms of experience, the Pioneers welcome back nine starters including two-time first-team All-Southeast Region forward Tramicka James, who led the SAC in goals per game (0.895) and tallied 17 goals in 2010 to rank sixth on the program's single-season scoring list. The junior's 28 career goals are tied for fifth all-time in school history.

A group of five freshmen along with a strong class of 10 sophomores should provide the Pioneers with significant depth both this season and in upcoming years as well.

"We don't have a big freshman class, but we're still working with a young group of players overall," said Joy. "Our sophomores will be pressing for playing time this season. I'm encouraged by how they have developed as players from last year to this."

The Pioneers finished 9-9-1 overall last season and advanced to the SAC Tournament semifinals for the 10th time since joining the league in 1999.

- TC -

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