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Little East preseason field hockey poll released

           PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Little East Conference pre-season field hockey coaches’ poll has been released and Plymouth State University has been picked to finish fourth among 12 schools in this year’s race.  The votes were cast by the conference’s head coaches.

            The Panthers, who tied for sixth in last year’s standings, received 90 points in this year’s poll.  Defending LEC Tournament champion University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was a strong favorite to claim the 2010 title, receiving nine of the 12 first-place votes for 140 points.  Keene State College got two top votes and finished runner-up with 128 points, while Framingham State University garnered the final first-place votes and wound up third with 115 points.  The 2009 LEC regular season title was split four ways between UMass Dartmouth, Keene State, Framingham State and Fitchburg State University and, all with 9-2 conference records.

            The middle four spots in the 2010 poll included the University of Southern Maine, Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State and Westfield State University, with the bottom four slots taken up by Salem State University, Western Connecticut State University, Worcester State University, and Eastern Connecticut State University,

            PSU, which has advanced to the ECAC New England Tournament championship game the past two seasons, finished with a 12-9 overall record last year.  Led by 11th-year head coach Bonnie Lord, the Panthers open this year’s schedule on Saturday, Sept. 4, at home against Endicott College.

            The LEC field hockey schedule includes one regular season game against the other 11 schools.  The conference tournament, which includes the top eight teams, is the first week in November, with the LEC champion receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

2010 LEC Field Hockey Pre-Season Coaches Poll

1 UMass Dartmouth (9) 140
2 Keene State (2) 128
3 Framingham State (1) 115
4 Plymouth State 90
5 Southern Maine 86
6 Bridgewater State 77
7 Fitchburg State 76
8 Westfield State 63
9 Salem State 60
10 Western Connecticut 46
11 Worcester State 32
12 Eastern Connecticut 18

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