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Four PSU Field Hockey players earn All-Conference honors

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Four standouts on the Plymouth State University field hockey team were honored Monday when the Little East Conference announced its All-Star Team for 2003.

Senior back Whitney Swaffield (Wolfeboro, N.H.) and sophomore forward Lilly Silva (Lowell, Mass.) were selected to the All-LEC First Team, junior back Annie Metz (North Chelmsford, Mass.) was named to the Second Team, and freshman forward Melanie Bates (Derry, N.H.) was picked as LEC Rookie of the Year. The selections were voted on by the league's 11 head coaches.

Swaffield and Metz, two of the three team co-captains, are the anchors to a strong Panther defense that surrendered only 28 goals in 18 games this season and posted six shutouts. Swaffield, a four-year veteran who had started every game in her career until missing four games this season with an injury, also played in the midfield this fall and contributed three goals and four assists. Metz held down the defensive unit, adding a team-high three defensive saves to her all-around strong play.

Silva is the team scoring leader and ranks second in the conference in scoring with 12 goals and 10 assists. Her 10 assists ranks as the LEC leader and her 12 goals are tied for third. Silva had at least one goal or assist in 13 of PSU's 18 games, and her top outings included a three-goal effort in a win over Fitchburg State, two goals and two assists in a loss to Worcester State, and a goal and two assists in a victory over Salem State.

Bates enjoyed an outstanding rookie campaign for the Panthers, finishing second on the team and sixth in the conference in scoring with 11 goals and three assists. She was in the scoring column with a goal or an assist in 11 of her 17 games, and she scored two goals in a contest three times, in PSU wins over Westfield State, Bridgewater State and Fitchburg State.

The Panthers' season continues this week with their fourth consecutive post-season berth. PSU received a berth in the ECAC New England Tournament, and the fourth-seeded Panthers will host fifth-seeded Clark University on Wednesday at Arold Field in a first-round game (2:00 p.m.).

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