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Panthers are top pick to win LEC Titles

Three-Time Defending Champion PSU Tops LEC Field Hockey Poll

  GORHAM, Maine - Three-time defending Little East Conference champion Plymouth State University received five first-place votes and 113 total points to claim the top spot in the annual pre-season poll of the League's field hockey head coaches.

The Panthers, who have posted a league mark of 29-1 over the past three years, enter the 2003 campaign sporting a 17-match, conference-winning streak. A year ago, Plymouth Stated captured its third consecutive LEC crown, advanced to the NCAA Tournament and compiled a 17-2 slate.

Southern Maine received three first place votes and 105 points to narrowly finish second ahead of Keene State College, which tallied a single first place votes and 104 total points. After finishing third in the 2002 regular season with a 7-3 league ledger, the Huskies advanced to the finals of the LEC Tournament and the semifinals of the ECAC Tournament, before concluding the year with a 15-8 record. Keene State finished second in the final regular-season standings with an 8-2 mark, advanced to the semifinals of the LEC and ECAC Tournaments and finished the year at 15-9.

Worcester State College (13-9; 6-4/4th) collected a single first-place vote and 87 total points to finish fourth, comfortably ahead of Eastern Connecticut State University (7-10; 5-5/5th), which earned 72 points. Bridgewater State College (8-8; 4-6/T6th) earned the final first place vote and 68 total points to finish sixth.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (5-14; 4-6/T6th) finished seventh with 47 points, while Westfield State College (5-11; 3-7/T9th) collected 40 points to finish eighth and narrowly edge Fitchburg State College (6-10; 3-7/T9th), which placed ninth with 39 points. Framingham State College (5-13; 3-7/T9th) followed closed behind in 10th place with 37 points, while Salem State College (2-12/2-8/11th) earned 14 points to round out the poll.

   2003 Little East Conference Pre-Season Field Hockey Coaches' Poll

1. Plymouth State University (5) 113

2. Southern Maine (3) 105

3. Keene State College (1) 104

4. Worcester State College (1) 87

5. Eastern Connecticut State College 72

6. Bridgewater State College (1) 68

7. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 47

8. Westfield State College 40

9. Fitchburg State College 39

10. Framingham State College 37

11. Salem State College 14

 (first place votes in parentheses)

PSU Shares Top LEC Volleyball Honors with Western Conn.

GORHAM, Maine - Four-time defending Little East Conference Champion Western Connecticut State University and 2002 regular-season runner-up Plymouth State University each earned four first place votes and 60 total points to share top honors in the annual poll of the league's eight volleyball head coaches.

Western Connecticut was a perfect 7-0 in regular-season play a year ago to extend its conference-winning streak to 30 consecutive matches dating back to 1998. The Colonials completed the year with a 20-15 mark after making their fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

After posting a 17-14 mark in 2001, Plymouth State compiled a 25-11 mark a year ago to rank as one of the region's most improved teams. The Panthers finished the regular season in second place with a 6-1 slate, before advancing to the conference semi-finals and earning a bid to the ECAC Tournament.

Eastern Connecticut State University received 46 points to place third, while Keene State College followed in fourth with 39 points. The Warriors finished third in the regular season with a 5-2 mark, and advanced to the finals of the LEC Tournament. Eastern Connecticut received a bid to the ECAC Tournament, before finishing the year at 22-16. Keene State, which finished fourth in the regular-season with a 4-3 slate, advanced to the semi-finals of the conference tournament and finished the year at 15-7.

Rhode Island College (13-16; 3-4/5th) earned 30 points to finish fifth in the poll, while the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (14-17; 2-5/6th) collected 24 points to follow in sixth place. The University of Southern Maine (13-21; 1-6/7th) tallied 16 points to finish seventh and edge the University of Massachusetts Boston (5-18; 0-7/8th), which earned 13 points.

    2003 Little East Conference Pre-Season Volleyball Coaches' Poll

T1. Western Connecticut State University (4) 60

T1. Plymouth State University (4) 60

3. Eastern Connecticut State University 46

4. Keene State College 39

5. Rhode Island College 30

6. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 24

7. Southern Maine 16

8. University of Massachusetts Boston 13

(first place votes in parentheses)

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