Women's Soccer Season Preview

Brevard, N.C. - The Tornados are eager to get the 2009 season started under the new leadership of Coach Shug. Last year, in their first year as full NCAA Division II and South Atlantic Conference members, the Tornados posted a 6-12 overall record and were 0-8 in SAC play. Coach Shug looks to build upon last year's young team which included five freshmen starters. The Lady Tornados also look to build upon their 2008 winning home record of 5-4-1 as they move onto the new soccer field at Brevard College.

Carson-Newman College, which won the South Atlantic Conference women's soccer championship and Food Lion Tournament title last year and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament, is the unanimous choice to win the 2009 SAC championship in a vote of the league coaches, the conference office announced today.

The Lady Eagles received nine first-place votes and 81 total votes.

Carson-Newman also led the way with seven named to the preseason All-Conference team. Defenders Melissa Morris and Katie Hunter and goalkeeper Lauren Mackenzie, the 2008 Freshman of the Year, were named to the first team. Forwards Morgan Gruenfelder, Trenna Howell and Nikki Brennan, as well as defender Jessie Stephens were named to the second team. Howell had 13 goals last season as a freshman.

Catawba College is picked to finish second with 62 points. The Indians lost the tournament championship in penalty kicks last year for the third year in a row. Catawba advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season.

Catawba had two selections to the preseason All-Conference team. Midfielder Nikki Blackwelder and goalkeeper Lindsay Webster were both named to the second team.

Wingate University is the pick to finish third with 55 points. The Bulldogs placed four on the preseason All-Conference team. Forwards Kelly Adams and Kerstin Williams and defender Madi Welch were named to the first team, while defender Samantha Baldwin was named to the second team. Adams finished fifth in the conference last year with 27 points as a freshman, while Williams scored nine goals.

Lenoir-Rhyne University is the pick to finish fourth. The Bears received 53 points.

Lenoir-Rhyne also had four preseason All-Conference selections. Forward Laura Linehan and defender Catherine Hauck were named to the first team, while forward Rebecca Lin and! ! midfielder Audrey Moore were named to the second team. Linehan was second in the conference last year in points and goals.

Tusculum College is fifth in the preseason poll with 46 points. The Pioneers had a pair of preseason All-Conference selections in first-team midfielder Courtney Turner and second-team midfielder Michele Meade.

Lincoln Memorial University is close behind with 42 points. The Railsplitters are represented on the preseason All-Conference team by first-team midfielder Becky Thompson scored 19 points last season.

Newberry is seventh in the preseason poll with 36 points. Newberry placed three on the preseason All-Conference team. Midfielder Amberly Fowler was named to the first team, while midfielder Allie Johns and defender Sara Geisman were named to the second team. Johns led Newberry last season with five goals and 12 points.

Mars Hill College received 18 points for eighth place. The Lions placed four on the preseason All-Conference te! ! am. Forward Abby Martin and midfielder Misha Price were named to the first team, while midfielder Caity Murnahan and defender Brittany Downs were named to the second team. Martin was the 2007 SAC Freshman of the year and has led the Lions in scoring the past two years, while Murnahan earned the award in 2006.

Brevard College rounds out the poll with 12 points.

The 2009 season opens Thursday, Aug. 27 with four matches. Lincoln Memorial hosts Asbury; Brevard hosts Montreat, Carson-Newman hosts King and Newberry opens on the road at Coker.

The 2009 Food Lion SAC Women's Soccer Tournament will culminate with the semifinals at the Manchester Meadows soccer stadium in Rock Hill, S.C., Friday, Nov. 6, with the finals on Sunday, Nov. 8.

2009 SAC WOMEN'S SOCCER COACHES POLL
Pl School Pts.
1. Carson-Newman (9) 81
2. Catawba 62
3. Wingate 55
4. Lenoir-Rhyne 53
5. Tusculum 46
6. Lincoln Memorial 42
7. Newberry 36
8. Mars Hill 18
9. Brevard 12
(First place votes in parenthesis)

2009 WOMEN'S SOCCER PRESEASON ALL-SAC
FIRST TEAM

Forward - Kelly Adams, Wingate
Forward - Laura Linehan, Lenoir-Rhyne
Forward - Kerstin Williams, Wingate
Forward - Abby Martin, Mars Hill
Midfielder - Amberly Fowler, Newberry
Midfielder - Becky Thompson, Lincoln Memorial
Midfielder - Misha Price, Mars Hill
Midfielder - Courtney Turner, Tusculum
Defender - Melissa Morris, Carson-Newman
Defender - Catherine Hauck, Lenoir-Rhyne
Defender - Katie Hunter, Carson-Newman
Defender - Madi Welch, Wingate
Goalkeeper - Lauren Mackenzie, Carson-Newman

SECOND TEAM
Forward - Morgan Gruenfelder, Carson-Newman
Forward - Trenna Howell, Carson-Newman
Forward - Nikki Brennan, Carson-Newman
Forward - Rebecca Lin, Lenoir-Rhyne
Midfielder - Nikki Blackwelder, Catawba
Midfielder - Audrey Moore, Lenoir-Rhyne
Midfielder - Caity Murnahan, Mars Hill
Midfielder - Allie Johns, Newberry
Midfielder - Michele Meade, Tusculum
Defender - Jessie Stephens, Carson-Newman
Defender - Samantha Baldwin, Wingate
Defender - Sara Geisman, Newberry
Defender - Brittany Downs, Mars Hill
Goalkeeper - Lindsay Webster, Catawba

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