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Pioneers to host Tusculum Kickoff Tournament

Six-team classic opens regular season play

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Two nationally-ranked Division II programs are among the six women's soccer teams that will converge on Tusculum College over Labor Day Weekend for the Tusculum Kickoff Tournament. A total of five matches will be played during the event, which gets underway with three games on Friday and concludes with a pair of contests on Sunday.

Joining the host Pioneers in the field are South Atlantic Conference colleague Lenoir-Rhyne, ranked eighth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division II Preseason poll, and 16th-ranked Columbus State. Also participating in the event are Southern Indiana, Georgia College and Montevallo.

Action begins Friday at 4 p.m. when the Pioneers square off with Montevallo on Pioneer Field. The final two games of the day will be played on the upper field, as Georgia College plays Lenoir-Rhyne at 6 p.m. and Southern Indiana battles Columbus State at 8 p.m. The upper field is located adjacent to the football practice fields and parking can be accessed via the Shiloh Rd. entrance to the Indoor Practice Facility.

Both of Sunday's matches will be played at Pioneer Field, with Tusculum taking on Columbus State at noon followed by Southern Indiana against Georgia College at 2 p.m.

"We are very pleased to bring such a strong group of teams to Tusculum College for the Kickoff Tournament. With two nationally-ranked programs and three other solid teams joining us in the field, fans of quality soccer are going to be impressed by what we have to offer," said Pioneer head coach Mike Joy. "I can't think of a better way for us to open what should be an exciting season than by facing two strong opponents in Montevallo and Columbus State."

Lenoir-Rhyne is the defending SAC regular-season co-champions and Food Lion SAC Tournament winners, and is picked to finish first in the SAC preseason coaches' poll. The Bears, who advanced to the NCAA Division II quarterfinals and finished 19-2-2 last season, placed six players on the preseason All-SAC first team.

Columbus State captured the Peach Belt Conference tournament championship and grabbed a share of their sixth straight conference regular-season crown in 2010. The Cougars were the top seed in the Southeast Region bracket, but lost 1-0 to Lenoir-Rhyne in the second round of the NCAA Division II tournament to finish 19-2-1.

Georgia College and Montevallo each finished in the middle of the pack in the Peach Belt Conference last season, with Georgia College claiming fifth place at 4-4-2 (7-7-3 overall) and Montevallo earning a tie for sixth place at 4-5-1 in PBC play (6-11-2 overall). Southern Indiana posted a 12-6-1 overall record last year and went 10-3-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference to take fourth place.

Admission to the tournament, and to all Tusculum women's soccer home matches, is free of charge.

- TC -

Tusculum Kickoff Tournament
Greeneville, Tenn.
Friday, Sept. 2
Montevallo at Tusculum, 4 p.m. (Pioneer Field)
Georgia College vs. #8 Lenoir-Rhyne, 6 p.m. (upper field)
Southern Indiana vs. #16 Columbus State, 8 p.m. (upper field)

Sunday, Sept. 4
#16 Columbus State at Tusculum, noon (Pioneer Field)
Southern Indiana vs. Georgia College, 2 p.m. (Pioneer Field)
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