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PSU Field Hockey earns top seed in ECAC New England Tournament

Panthers to host semifinals and championship at Arold Field

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University field hockey team will be looking for its second consecutive championship and third title in four years this weekend when the Panthers host the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Tournament at Arold Field, the ECAC announced on Monday.

            The Panthers (13-6) were awarded the No. 1 seed in this year's six-team tournament and receive a bye in Wednesday's first round. PSU will host the semifinal games Saturday at Arold Field as well as the championship game Sunday at noon. Plymouth State will face the winner of Wednesday's first-round game between fourth-seeded Smith College (11-8) and fifth-seeded Worcester State University (11-8) Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

            Second-seeded University of New England (15-6) also drew a first-round bye on Wednesday, and will take on the winner of Wednesday's first-round game between third-seeded Bridgewater State University (15-5) and sixth-seeded Framingham State University (9-9) Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

            Plymouth State captured last year's championship as the No. 3 seed, upsetting second-seeded Keene State in the semifinals, 2-1, and top-seeded Bridgewater State in the final, 4-3 in overtime.  PSU also won ECAC Field Hockey Championships in 1987, 2004, and 2010.

            The Panthers have played in five straight ECAC championship games, finishing runner-up in 2008, '09 and 2011.  Top-seeded PSU was upset by Mount Holyoke in the 2011 title match, and the Panthers dropped one-goal decisions for the championship to UNE in 2009 and Endicott in 2008.

            Led by 14th-year head coach Bonnie Lord, PSU received the ECAC berth after finishing in a tie for second place in the Little East Conference with a 9-2 mark, and advancing to the LEC Tournament championship game, where they were defeated by top-seeded Keene State, 2-1.

            The Panthers are making their 13th post-season appearance (NCAA or ECAC) in the past 14 years. 

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