Sept. 26, 2008
Cullowhee, N.C. - As Western Carolina prepares for its annual Homecoming week festivities next week, which includes the celebration of the 10th season of its women's soccer program, the Athletic Department today announced its Women's Soccer 10th Anniversary Team. The 11-member squad, as well as all of the women's soccer alumni, will be recognized in a pair of soccer matches that bookend Homecoming weekend, Oct. 3-5.
In addition to highlighting the top 11 players through the first 10 seasons, WCU has also compiled its "Top 10 Moments" through its first 10 years. Each day from now - 10 days removed from the Sunday, Oct. 5 celebration of WCU's 10th Anniversary - through the Oct. 5, CatamountSports.com will release its top 10 moments daily.
A seven-member panel, which included both current and former athletic department staff as well as a representative from the women's soccer alum, selected the 11-member, 10th anniversary team to help commemorate the historic 10th season. (Current WCU players were not included in the voting because of their current active status).
Through the first 10 seasons, Western Carolina has enjoyed two Southern Conference championships, including a share of the regular season crown in 2001 and the tournament title in 2005. Ten Catamount soccer players have garnered a combined 14 All-Southern Conference accolades, with nine combining to garner 12 all-tournament plaudits. All told, WCU has 69 all-time letter winners.
Two former Catamounts earned Academic All-District honors, with two named to the honorary Soccer Buzz magazine All-Southeast Region squad.
Awards have not been restricted just to the student-athletes, though. The program's first-ever head coach, Debbie Hensley, was named SoCon Coach of the Year following her squad's regular season co-championship in 2001. Current skipper, Tammy DeCesare, earned regional recognition, sharing the Soccer Buzz Southeast Region Coach of the Year runner-up position following the 2005 championship run.
The WCU Women's Soccer 10th Anniversary celebration will begin on Friday, Oct. 3 as the Catamounts host Wofford at the Catamount Athletic Complex beginning at 6:00 pm. Following the match, the Homecoming Spirit Night festivities will invade the complex, culminating with fireworks.
On Saturday, the soccer team will be recognized during a quarter break as the football team hosts Samford at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field. Kickoff is set for 1:00 pm.
The three-day visualization of the year-long celebration will conclude on Sunday, Oct. 5. All women's soccer alum are invited back for a pre-game social at the Catamount Athletics Complex set to begin at 1:00 pm. Then, at 2:00 pm, the Catamounts will host the Furman Lady Paladins with a special recognition of all the women's soccer alum - and a special ceremony for the 10th anniversary squad - at halftime.
Tickets for both soccer matches, as well as the annual Homecoming football game are available online at www.CatamountSports.com or by phone at (800) 34-GOWCU. Fans may also purchase tickets at the gates at each event.
Western Carolina Women's Soccer 10th Anniversary Team:
(Team listed in alphabetical order by last name)
Kelly Barker - 1999-02
A member of the inaugural WCU women's soccer team, Barker concluded her four-year career as one of the Catamounts' best-ever passers. She dished out 29 assists during her career, including a single-season record 12 in 1999, to rank first all-time in school history. She also scored 14 career goals, tied for sixth all-time, with four going as game-winners (tied for eighth). Barker joined classmate Nardia Moore on the Soccer Buzz magazine "All-National Team" for first-year programs during the first season in 1999.
Lauren Bramlett - 2000-03
With 63 career points, former Catamount Lauren Bramlett ranks third all-time on Western Carolina's record book. She fired 213 shots during her four years in Cullowhee - including a single-season record 92 in 2001 - to rank second all-time, while her 19 career goals rank third on the charts. Bramlett garnered second team All-Southern Conference accolades in '01, helping guide the Catamounts to 16 wins and a share of the SoCon regular season championship. Bramlett was awarded the soccer program's Schrader Scholarship in 2002.
Casey Davis - 2002-05
Casey Davis is just one of five Catamount women's soccer players all-time to earn weekly honors from the Southern Conference, garnering Player of the Week on Aug. 30, 2005 after scoring two goals and dishing out an assist in the '05 Niagara Women's Soccer Classic championship. She additionally received all-tournament honors during WCU's run to the 2005 SoCon title and first-ever berth in the NCAA Championship tournament. Her 93 career shots rank tied for ninth all-time in school history.
Kyla Deon - 1999-02
A member of the inaugural season of Catamount Soccer, Kyla Deon holds the distinction of starting every match she ever played at WCU - a school-record 82 games. From her defensive position, she helped Western amass 26 shutout victories through the program's first four seasons. WCU soccer's first-ever CoSIDA Academic All-District III selection, Deon was awarded the soccer program's Schrader Scholarship in 2001.
Heather Dittmer - 2004-07
To date, former Catamount Heather Dittmer is the only Western Carolina women's soccer player to ever garner national honors from Soccer Buzz magazine. She was named to the National Elite Team of the Week on Nov. 10, 2005 after scoring two goals to guide WCU to the program's first-ever tournament championship. Her 13 career goals rank ninth all-time, while her 34 career points rank her tied for eighth in the WCU record books. Dittmer scored seven game-winning goals in her four-year career, including five in 2005 alone - the second-best single-season in Catamount history.
Jordan Howell - 2000-03
Former Catamount forward Jordan Howell ranks second all-time in school history with both her 33 career goals and 79 career points. She sits atop two career records at WCU including game-winning goals with 10 and shots in a career with 216. Howell earned WCU's first-ever weekly honor from the Southern Conference on Sept. 25, 2001, as she was named the Player of the Week after scoring five goals - including one of her school-record three hat tricks. She was named both first team All-SoCon and Soccer Buzz All-Southeast Region second team following the 2001 season.
Nardia Moore - 1999-02
It is only fitting that Western Carolina's first-ever women's soccer signee turned out to be one of its most decorated. Nardia Moore continues to rank atop two of WCU's career charts, while also owning a pair of single-season and single-game markers. Moore scored a record 38 goals from 1999-02 - tied for eighth all-time in the SoCon - a single-season record 15 in the inaugural season. She also ranks top the points tally with 96 career points. Soccer Buzz magazine's Freshman of the Year for First-Year programs in 1999, Moore is Western's only three-time All-Southern Conference selection, garnering second team accolades from 1999 through 2002 and twice earning all-tournament recognition.
Emily Pierce - 2002-05
Ranking as the most offensive defender in school history, Emily Pierce finished with five career goals and a pair of assists for 12 career points from the back line. She was named the Most Valuable Player during the 2005 Niagara Women's Soccer Classic championship, duplicating her all-tournament team recognition at the Furman Select Kickoff. In addition to her prowess on the soccer pitch, Pierce also epitomized what it is to be a student-athlete. A second team All-Southern Conference selection in 2005, Pierce was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District III selection in 2003 and '05, and later earned the prestigious David Knight Post-graduate Scholarship as awarded by the conference office.
Alesha Row - 2003-06
Perhaps the best stopper in school history, Alesha Row finished her four-year collegiate career with a school-record 19 shutouts, which ranks eighth all-time in the Southern Conference. She finished with a record-low, 1.21, goals against average. As the championship winning goal-keeper in 2005, Row became the only Catamount women's soccer player to garner tournament Most Outstanding Player plaudits, doing so as a junior. She was a second-team All-SoCon keeper in 2005 after posting a SoCon single-season record 13 shutouts.
Mandi Tinsley - 1999-02
Western's first-ever player between the pipes, Mandi Tinsley finished her career with 18 shutouts - second in school history and tied for 10th in the SoCon all-time. She amassed 6,684 minutes in goal during her four-year career. Her 414 career saves rank first all-time in school history, while also ranking fourth all-time in the conference. Tinsley also posted the program's top single-season save percentage at .890 during the 2002 season, which ranks tied for 10th all-time in the SoCon. She was a two-time All-SoCon selection, earning first-team accolades in 2002 and second team plaudits in 2001
Natalie Turgeon - 2002-05
A powerful, offensive-minded midfielder, Natalie Turgeon ranks on every major top 10 list in WCU history. Seven of her 15 career goals, which ranks her tied for fourth all-time, were game-winners - tied for the second-most all-time. She ranks fifth all-time with 39 points, which includes nine career assists. One of the captains of the 2005 squad which won a program-record 18 matches, Turgeon is the only individual to receive the soccer program's Schrader Scholarship on multiple occasions, earning the award in 2003 and '04.