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May 1, 2006

Post-season Lacrosse coming to Plymouth State

PLYMOUTH, N.H.

- Post-season collegiate lacrosse action comes to Plymouth State University this week as both the Panther men's and women's teams are set to host Little East Conference play-off games.

            The PSU men's squad, seeded fourth, will host fifth-seeded Western Connecticut State University Tuesday in an LEC Tournament first-round game at Panther Field (3:30 p.m.)  The winner earns a date in a semifinal game Thursday at top-seeded Eastern Connecticut.  The other first-round game Tuesday matches sixth-seeded UMass Dartmouth at third-seeded UMass Boston, with the winner moving on to a semifinal game Thursday at second-seeded and defending champion Keene State.  The semifinal winners meet Saturday for the LEC Championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.

            The Panthers, who completed the regular season at 7-8 overall and 3-3 in conference play, are hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's LEC Tournament.  PSU was the fourth seed last spring but got upset in the first round at Panther Field by fifth-seeded UMass Boston, 6-5.  WestConn, which ended its regular season this spring at 6-8 overall and 2-4 in the LEC, was the third seed last year and won its first-round game over UMass Dartmouth before getting knocked out of the tourney by Eastern Conn. in the semifinals, 15-6.

            Plymouth State edged WestConn in overtime in this year's regular-season game, 10-9, on April 1 in Danbury, Conn.

            The PSU women's team, which captured its fifth consecutive LEC regular season title this spring, receives a first-round bye on Tuesday and will host both semifinals on Friday at Arold Field as well as the championship game on Saturday.  The top-seeded Panthers will play Friday at 1:00 p.m. against the winner of Tuesday's first-round contest between fifth-seeded Southern Maine and fourth-seeded UMass Dartmouth.  The other semifinal Friday at 3:30 p.m. will match second-seeded Eastern Connecticut against the winner of Tuesday's first-round contest between sixth-seeded Western Connecticut and third-seeded Keene State.  Saturday's title game is tentatively set for 1:00 p.m. (weather permitting), with the winner receiving an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.

            The Panther women, who completed the regular season at 11-5 overall, 6-0 in conference play and riding a six-game winning streak, are also hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's LEC Tournament.  PSU, which won three straight LEC Tournaments from 2002-04, was upset by Eastern Conn. in last year's championship game, 12-6.  That is the only LEC game, regular-season or tournament, that PSU has lost since the Little East Conference began women's lacrosse in 2002.

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