JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 8, 2004) - The East Tennessee State University women's soccer team finished up their final season in Southern Conference play with a 5-8-4 overall record, and a 2-5-4 conference record.
ETSU battled competitively to the end in a close Southern Conference season. The squad garnered its two conference wins against UT Chattanooga (2-0) and Wofford (1-0). During the 2004 campaign, the Buccaneers faced six overtime contests, five of which came against conference opponents. Also of the eight losses dealt to the team this season, six were truly heartbreaking as they were decided by only one goal.
Individually, nine players contributed to the ETSU offensive effort and were led by junior Erin Ashton (New Bern, N.C.), and sophomore Rebecca Murray (Franklin, Tenn.) each of which tallied eight points. Ashton recorded two goals and a team leading four assists, while Murray recorded a team leading four goals. Ashton's two goals and four assists this season now place her as ETSU's Individual Career Record holder in goals with 24 and tied for first in assists with 14. She also took home individual awards for the second consecutive year including selection to the SoCon All-Conference second team, and to the 2004 Academic All-District IV Third Team.
Due to the team's defensive efforts throughout the season the team recorded six shutouts and maintained a low 1.33 goals against average. Defensively, the Bucs were led by juniors Meghan Morris (Bowie, Md.) and Kerri Burke (Raleigh, N.C.), sophomores Blair DeGraw (Greensboro, N.C.) and Trista Haupt (Myersville, Md.), and by freshman goalkeeper Christine Parks (Annapolis, Md.).
At the close of the season, the team also had to say a fond farewell to its one senior midfielder Jennifer Fields (Mount Airy, Md.). Fields was one of three individuals to play and start in all 17 matches during the season and made over 70 career appearances with the Bucs. While Fields presence and leadership on the field will be missed by her teammates, 20 players are expected to return to compete for the Bucs in the 2005 season. The experience on the field will help the Buccaneers as they step into uncharted territory, as the Bucs will compete in their first season in the Atlantic Sun Conference.Head Coach Heather Henson commented, "This was a learning year for us as a team. We battled through a lot of close games. Unfortunately, the record did not represent the team that was on the field this season. We lose one senior and now will begin preparing for next year. I feel next year we will get back to the results we had a year ago."