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TUSCULUM WOMEN'S SOCCER RANKED 8TH IN PRESEASON NATIONAL POLL

Coach <a href='profile.asp?playerID=128'>Mike Joy</a>MISSION, Kan. --- Tusculum College is ranked eighth in the nation according to the 2007 NSCAA/adidas® NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Poll announced College officials Thursday.

The Pioneers ended last season ranked No. 8 in the final NCAA II poll after finishing with a 14-3-3 record and advancing to the national quarterfinals. Tusculum capitalized with one of the best defenses in the country that posted 13 shutouts while capturing its first-ever NCAA Southeast Region title. Tusculum returns 10 letter winners and four starters from last year's club.

Four Tusculum opponents are mentioned in this year's preseason poll. The University of Tampa, who the Pioneers will face Sep. 2 in Columbus, Ga., is listed fourth in the preseason poll. Tampa posted an 18-3-1 mark, including a win over Tusculum in last year's Elite Eight. Carson-Newman College is ranked No. 9 in the poll. The Lady Eagles posted a 14-2-1 record last year, both setbacks coming at the hands of the Pioneers, including a 1-0 double-overtime decision in the Southeast Region final. Tusculum and Carson-Newman will meet on Sep. 26 in Greeneville. Columbus State University comes in at No. 21 after a stellar 18-4-1 worksheet in 2006. TC and CSU will face-off Aug. 31 in Columbus. Tusculum defeated the Cougars 3-0 last year at Pioneer Field. Armstrong Atlantic State University received votes as they will host Tusculum on Oct. 15 in Savannah, Ga. Tusculum defeated the Pirates twice last year with a pair of 1-0 wins, including in the opening match of the NCAA Tournament.

Tusculum head coach Mike Joy is entering his 11th season at the helm of the Pioneer women's soccer program. Joy has guided Tusculum to nine consecutive winning seasons while posting a 141-54-14 record in his 10 years in Greeneville. His 227 career wins (over 15 seasons), are the fourth most in NCAA II history.

Tusculum will open the 2007 regular season next Thursday (Aug. 23) when it hosts Milligan College for a 7 p.m. match at Pioneer Field.

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