GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University women's soccer team is nearing the end of its season-opening stretch of nine consecutive road matches, with just three more contests on the schedule as the last week of September begins.
The Pioneers, who opened their South Atlantic Conference slate on the road Saturday at Lenoir-Rhyne, will step back out of conference for a trip to Lee on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and follow that with a visit to Newberry for a SAC match on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Tusculum enters the week with a 3-3-0 overall record and an 0-1-0 mark in conference play. Five of their six matches this season have ended in shutouts, with two wins and three losses.
RECAPPING THE WEEK
The Pioneers traveled to Lees-McRae for a non-conference match on Wednesday night and came away with a 3-0 victory. Junior goalkeeper Cecilie Ting Mortensen made three saves to earn her second shutout of the season, and the Pioneers received goals from Jamila Thombs in the 26th minute, Yvette Raaijen on a penalty kick in the 54th minute and Tina Haig in the 75th minute. Tusculum outshot Lees-McRae 22-6, including a 15-4 margin in the second half.
On Saturday, Tusculum opened its SAC schedule on the road at Lenoir-Rhyne and lost to the Bears by a 4-0 score. The Bears scored twice in the final 7 1/2 minutes of the first half to take a 3-0 lead into halftime, and finished the game with a 22-8 edge in shots over the Pioneers. Mortensen finished with a season-high 10 saves for Tusculum in the loss.
Lee, ranked fifth in last week's United Soccer Coaches Division II poll, has not played since winning at Trevecca Nazarene 3-0 last Monday night in Nashville to improve to 3-1-0. Lauren Weimer scored two second-half goals for the Flames, which outshot Trevecca 18-3 in the win.
Lee's only loss came to top-ranked Grand Valley State on the road by a 3-0 score on September 7, in a rematch of last year's national semifinal. The Flames also own a 2-0 victory over Carson-Newman on Sept. 13 on the road. Lee will be playing its home opener against the Pioneers, after finishing with a 9-3 record on its home turf a year ago. Weimer's two goals lead the team on offense, while Taylor Green has played every minute in goal and has three shutouts and 0.75 goals against average.
Wednesday's match is Tusculum's first trip to Lee since August 30, 1997 when the Pioneers lost on the road by a score of 4-3 in Mike Joy's first game as Tusculum head coach. The last meeting between the teams came on Sept. 27, 2000 at Pioneer Field, with Tusculum beating Lee by an 8-1 score.
Newberry opened its SAC schedule with a pair of road losses last week, falling 3-1 at Anderson on Wednesday and 1-0 at Carson-Newman on Saturday. The Wolves, who begin the week 2-2-1 overall, will visit Mount Olive for a non-conference match on Wednesday.
The Wolves opened the season with road wins over Spring Hill (3-0) and Auburn-Montgomery (4-2) before tying their home opener against Barton at 2-2 on Sept. 14. Senior Daphne Heyaime is Newberry's leading scoring with five goals and two assists, accounting for half of the Wolves' 10 goals on the year. Jayleen Gant and Delaney Hood have split time in goal for Newberry, with Gant posting a 0.72 goals against average and a .929 save percentage.
The Pioneers and Wolves played to a 1-1 draw last season, and Tusculum is unbeaten in its last five meetings with Newberry (three wins, two ties). The Pioneers own a 19-2-4 advantage over the Wolves in the all-time series.
Mortensen is second in the SAC with 34 saves and is tied for fourth with two shutouts. Haig is tied for 12th among all SAC players with two goals and tied for 16th with four points, along with Brooke Radcliffe. Radcliffe is tied for sixth in the conference in assists with two, joined by Kaitlyn Watson.
Links to live stats and video for Tusculum University athletic events can be found through tusculumpioneers.com.