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Little East Conference preseason field hockey poll released

Panthers picked to finish third among 12 schools

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Little East Conference pre-season field hockey coaches' poll has been released and for the second straight year Plymouth State University has been picked to finish third among 12 schools.  The votes were cast by the conference's head coaches.

            The Panthers, who finished in second place in last year's LEC standings with a 10-1 conference record, received two first-place votes and 124 points in this year's poll.  Defending regular season and tournament champion Keene State College is a strong favorite to repeat its title, receiving seven of 12 first-place votes for 136 points, while 2010 champion University of Massachusetts Dartmouth earned three top votes and finished runner-up with 129 points.  Bridgewater State University, the University of Southern Maine and Western Connecticut State University rounded the top half of the survey.

            PSU, which has advanced to four straight ECAC New England Tournament title games, finished runner-up in the 2011 ECAC tourney.  The Panthers matched the program's single-season standard for victories by finishing with an 18-4 overall record.  Led by 13th-year head coach Bonnie Lord, Plymouth State opens this year's slate on September 1-2 at the Zenaty Invitational at Springfield 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.

            The complete Little East Conference field hockey preseason poll is listed below: 

2012 LEC Field Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll

1 Keene State (7) 136
2 UMass Dartmouth (3) 129
3 Plymouth State (2) 124
4 Bridgewater State 96
5 Southern Maine 84
6 Western Connecticut 74
7 Worcester State 70
8 Westfield State 69
9 Fitchburg State 65
10 Salem State 34
11 Framingham State 31
12 Eastern Connecticut 16

(first-place votes in parentheses) 

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