PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State College men's lacrosse season was extended an extra week Monday when the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) selected the Panthers as the #8 seed in the 2001 Division III New England Tournament.
PSC will make its first ECAC post-season appearance in men's lacrosse since earning back-to-back berths in 1988 and 1989.
The Panthers (7-7) will travel to top-seeded Bowdoin College (10-5) in Brunswick, Maine on Wednesday (May 9) for a 4:30 p.m. quarterfinal contest. The semi-finals are Friday (May 11), hosted by the two highest remaining seeds, and the championship game is Sunday (May 13) at the highest remaining seed.
The other first-round contests include #7 UMass Boston (12-4) at #2 Wesleyan (15-2), #6 Gordon (9-6) at #3 Connecticut College (10-5) and #5 MIT (8-6) at #4 Babson (13-4).
"We were pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to the ECACs," said PSC second-year head coach Nate Ostis. "We'll have our work cut out for us, but we intend to show up and give our best effort and represent Plymouth State to the best of our abilities."
Wednesday will mark the 25th meeting in men's lacrosse between PSC and Bowdoin, with the Polar Bears holding a 22-2 advantage in the all-time series. Bowdoin knocked PSC out of the ECAC Tournament in 1988, taking a 10-6 decision in the quarterfinals. The last time the two schools met was in Plymouth on Apr. 13th, 1999, with Bowdoin winning 15-4.
The Panthers are coming off a semi-final loss to Eastern Connecticut in the inaugural Little East Conference Tournament last week. PSC finished fourth in the LEC in the regular season and knocked off Salem State in the first round, 23-4, before falling to NCAA Tournament-bound ECSU, 18-3.
Bowdoin had a five-game winning streak snapped Sunday with an 11-5 setback to Middlebury in the championship game of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament. The six-time ECAC Champion Polar Bears are the top seed in the ECAC Tournament for the second straight season, and are making their 18th and final ECAC appearance (NESCAC teams will not play in the ECAC Tournaments after this year).
The Panthers are led offensively by senior attackmen Jim Martocchio (Simsbury, Conn.) and J.P. Sallese (Beverly, Mass.). Martocchio scored more than 50 goals each of the past four years, including 54 this season (12th in the nation), and has career totals of 250 goals and 283 points. Sallese led the team in scoring this season with 28 goals and 48 assists (fifth in the nation), and is right behind Martocchio on PSC's career scoring list with 230 points (88 goals, 142 assists).
The PSC defense is led by junior goalie Jon Clark (Yarmouth, Maine), who posted a 10.40 goals against average and an impressive .627 saves percentage.