ROCK HILL, S.C. - Carson-Newman's women's soccer team's run to the 2004 Final Four has been named the 10th best moment in South Atlantic Conference history in the SAC's 20 for 20 series.
Led by SAC Player of the Year and the league's all-time leading scorer Rebecca Angus, Carson-Newman reached the national semifinals of the 2004 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship, becoming the first team in SAC history to reach the Final Four of an NCAA women's sport.
Julie Nelson picked up a SAC Tournament MVP honor as the Eagles won the SAC regular-season and tournament championships. C-N defeated Clayton St. 3-2, Catawba 1-0 and Lincoln Memorial 3-1 in the NCAA tournament preliminary rounds to advance to the Final Four.
Despite falling to Adelphi 2-1 in the national semifinals, Carson-Newman finished the season 19-3-2 overall and had six players earn All-Conference selections. Angus, Jennifer Brock, Claire Ramsdale and Nelson made the first team. Erica Stegner and Stacey Thomas landed on the second team. Two Eagles, Angus and Ramsdale earned All-American honors.
The Eagles went on to reach the Final Four again in 2005. No SAC team has made it back to the semifinals in women's soccer since the Eagles' two-year run.
The 2012-13 academic year marks the 20th anniversary of the SAC becoming a member of NCAA Division II. In celebration, the conference will count down the top 20 moments from the last two decades throughout the coming months in a series titled SAC 20 for 20
The first SAC 20 for 20 announcement, highlighting moments No. 16-20, was released on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Today moment six through 10 were announced. Moments one through five will be announced the week of May 13.
"The last 20 years have provided countless unforgettable moments in this conference," SAC commissioner Patrick Britz said. "The achievements of so many teams and individual student-athletes will make SAC 20 for 20 a fascinating series to watch unfold. We are proud to be members of Division II, and are excited to revisit our rich history over the course of the year."
Since joining Division II in 1993, the SAC has seen teams from each of its 14 championship sports earn selections to NCAA championships. It has also welcomed four new member institutions since becoming eligible for Division II competition – Tusculum, Lincoln Memorial, Anderson and Newberry, which left the conference in 1988 and later rejoined in 1996.
The moments that make up SAC 20 for 20 come from the conference's current member institutions and represent both team and individual accomplishments. Moments from each institution were eligible for SAC 20 for 20 consideration only if they occurred when the school was a member of the league.
The top 20 moments were selected by a committee of conference personnel spanning each of the league's current member schools. The committee was made up of Anderson Athletic Director Nancy Simpson, Brevard Athletic Director Juan Mascaro, Carson-Newman Sr. Woman Administrator Vickee Hollifield, Catawba Athletic Director Dennis Davidson, Lenoir-Rhyne SID John Karrs, Lincoln Memorial FAR Jack Mansfield, Mars Hill FAR Marty Gilbert, Newberry SID Josh Manck, Tusculum SID Dom Donnelly and Wingate Sr. Woman Administrator Michelle Caddigan.