Peach Belt Announces Women’s Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team
AUGUSTA, GA – The Peach Belt Conference has released the 11-member women’s soccer preseason All-Conference team from the league offices in Augusta, Ga. Armstrong Atlantic State led the team with three selections while Columbus State, UNC Pembroke and North Georgia had two players each. Lander and Flagler each had one player named to the team. The preseason team was selected by the league’s head coaches.
After winning the PBC regular season and tournament championships last year and advancing to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history, Armstrong returns strong with three All-Conference selections. Senior forward Kristina Pascutti led the team and was third in the Peach Belt with 12 goals scored and was named the PBC co-Player of the Year. A second-team All-American and first-team All-Conference selection, she was fifth in the league in points with 27 and had five game-winning goals, three of them in conference games.
Nadima Skeff returns for her senior season at Armstrong after scoring eight goals last year, good for third on the squad and 10th in the Peach Belt. She was named the Peach Belt Tournament Most Valuable Player after scoring the game-winning goals in both the semifinals and final, the last coming with 12 seconds left in a 1-0 win over Columbus State in the championship game. In all she had four game-winners, including the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Lenoir-Rhyne in the NCAA Southeast Region final.
Morgan Mitchell scored 11 goals for the Pirates in 2011, second-most on the team and fifth in the league. Returning for her senior season, she was named first-team All-Conference and first-team All-Region. Mitchell scored six game-winning goals, most in the Peach Belt and sixth-most in the nation last season. She had both scores in a 2-1 over #21 Tampa to send Armstrong to their first Final Four berth.
Columbus State’s Kansas Bayly was named a PBC co-Player of the Year in 2011 as a sophomore. Returning for her junior season, she anchored a Cougar defense that allowed only 14 goals all season long and post 12 shutouts. CSU led the PBC with a 0.59 goals against average. Bayly was also an offensive threat, scoring six goals including two against North Georgia to hand the Saints their first loss of the season. Bayly was named a first-team All-American by the NSCAA and Daktronics.
The 2012 CSU Cougars will have the past two PBC Players of the Year on the roster this season as Stephanie Lowery joins Bayly. Lowery returns for her senior season after being named PBC first-team All-Conference and an All-American by the NSCAA. She led the squad and was third in the Peach Belt with 12 goals scored and was also third in the league with 29 points. She had five game-winning goals in 2011 including both scores in a 2-1 win over Tusculum in the NCAA Tournament and the lone score in a win over UNC Pembroke in the PBC Tournament.
North Georgia had a breakout season in 2011 with 16 wins and a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Kelly Penston was a big reason for that as she was second on the squad with six goals scored and named first-team All-Conference. Returning for her junior year, Penston scored three game-winning goals while helping the defense to a 0.83 GAA, third-best in the Peach Belt. She was named an All-Region selection in 2011.
Kelsey Martin played in the first 17 games for North Georgia in 2011 before missing the rest of the season with an injury. A returning senior, she scored three goals and was third in the Peach Belt with seven assists. The 2009 PBC Freshman of the Year, Martin had three game-winning goals including one against Flagler.
UNC Pembroke’s Britney Bennett is the lone goalkeeper on the preseason team. Returning for her junior year, she was named first-team All-Conference in 2011. The 2010 PBC Freshman of the Year, Bennett allowed only 13 goals last season, second-fewest in the PBC, with a 0.71 GAA, also second in the league. She had six shutouts between the pipes and led the PBC with a .887 save percentage, good enough for seventh nationally.
Fanny Forsman returns for her senior season in the UNCP defense after garnering first-team All-Conference honors in 2011. Named All-Region by the NSCAA and Daktronics, she started all 18 games for the Braves on defense, helping the team to a 0.68 GAA, second-best in the Peach Belt. She also scored three goals and added a pair of assists.
Lander’s Jamie Shaw was ranked in the PBC’s top 10 in goals and points in 2011 and was named PBC first-team All-Conference. Returning for her senior season, she had more than ¼ of all Lander’s goals in 2011 with five game-winning shots, tied for second in the PBC. She scored both goals in Lander’s 2-2 tie with Columbus State and had the lone score in both 1-0 wins over Flagler, the second in the PBC Tournament.
Lindsay Zullo was named first-team All-Conference for Flagler in 2011. Returning for her senior season, she was second on the team and 10th in the Peach Belt with eight goals last season and was named All-Region by the NSCAA. Zullo had four game-winners for the Saints including two scores in a 3-1 win over Newberry and the winner against Montevallo. She also scored the first two goals in Flagler’s regular-season finale win over Georgia College.
Women’s Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team
Kansas Bayly, Columbus State
Britney Bennett, UNC Pembroke
Fanny Forsman, UNC Pembroke
Stephanie Lowery, Columbus State
Kelsey Martin, North Georgia
Morgan Mitchell, Armstrong
Kristina Pascutti, Armstrong
Kelly Penston, North Georgia
Jamie Shaw, Lander
Nadima Skeff, Armstrong
Lindsay Zullo, Flagler