Panthers look to oust rival Owls in first round game
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University field hockey team travels to rival Keene State College for the opening round of the Little East Conference (LEC) Tournament Tuesday (Nov. 5) at 6:30 p.m.
The Panthers (8-9, 6-6 LEC) are back in the postseason for the 18th time in 20 seasons under the direction of head coach Bonnie Lord. PSU will enter the tournament as the seventh seed, while Keene State (13-7, 10-2 LEC) captured the second seed.
Though Keene State has posted an 8-1 record in head-to-head competition with the Panthers in tournament play, Plymouth State will enter the contest with confidence after besting the Owls in a thrilling, 3-2 decision at the New Hampton School back on Oct. 1. The Panthers jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind goals from senior Kylie Ham (Wayland, Mass.) and sophomores Jess Mezquita (Atkinson, N.H.) and Mariah Luscher (Holderness, N.H.), then survived a furious second half rally with junior goalkeeper Jess Distler (Brookfield, N.H.) making several outstanding saves to preserve the win.
Plymouth State is making its 19th appearance since the tournament's inception in 1998. The Panthers have the second-most tournament wins with a 21-15 mark in tournament action, and are tied for the second-most tournament titles with three. The two teams most recently met in postseason play in the semifinal round of the 2017 tournament, when KSC held off Plymouth State by a 5-3 margin.
Keene State has had success against everyone in the postseason tournament, leading all LEC schools with 13 titles and an impressive 45-7 record in tournament play. The Owls have been crowned the tournament champion each of the last six seasons.
The winner of tomorrow's contest will advance to face the winner of third-seeded WestConn and sixth-seeded Salem State on Thursday (Nov. 7).
The full LEC Tournament bracket can be found on the conference's website, www.littleeast.com.
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