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PSU Lacrosse teams begin Little East Conference Tournament play

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Little East Conference men's and women's lacrosse tournaments take place this week on campuses around New England, and the Plymouth State University teams hope to be right in the thick of both events.

The PSU men will begin action for the week, traveling to the University of Massachusetts Boston on Tuesday (3:00 p.m.) for a first-round game. The Panthers, 9-5 overall and 3-3 in conference play and riding a five-game winning streak, tied for third place in the LEC with Western Connecticut and UMass Boston, but received the fifth seed in the tournament based on the LEC tiebreaker system. The Beacons, 6-6 overall and 3-3 in the Little East, are the fourth seed. UMD edged PSU during the regular season, 13-9, on April 14 in Boston.

UMass Dartmouth will visit Western Connecticut in Tuesday's other first-round game. The winner of the PSU-UMB contest will face undefeated and regular season champion Keene State College on Thursday in Keene, with the UMD-WCSU winner meeting up with regular season runner-up Eastern Connecticut. The Owls (13-0 overall and 6-0 in the LEC) and Warriors (7-8, 5-1) received first-round byes.

Keene State defeated Eastern Conn. for its first LEC men's lacrosse title in 2005, and Eastern edged KSC for the championship last spring, 14-12.

The PSU women are seeking their fifth LEC title in six years, having previously won it in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006. The Panthers, 11-4 overall and 5-1 in conference play and riding a seven-game winning streak, finished in second place in the conference this spring, and receive a first-round bye on Tuesday. PSU will host a semifinal game on Thursday at Arold Field (3:30 p.m.), facing the winner of Tuesday's Keene State-Rhode Island College match-up.

Eastern Connecticut, 11-5 overall and 6-0 in conference play, captured the women's regular season title and received the other first-round bye. The Warriors will host a semifinal game on Thursday against the winner of the UMass Dartmouth-Southern Maine contest. The LEC Championship game is Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Plymouth State edged Eastern Connecticut in last spring's championship clash, 9-5.

The LEC Champions in both men's and women's lacrosse receive automatic berths into the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournaments.

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