PLYMOUTH, N.H. - For the second straight season and third time in the past four years, the Plymouth State University men's lacrosse team received an invitation Monday to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England Tournament.
The Panthers are the defending champions and the #2 seed in this year's five-team tournament, and receive a bye in Wednesday's first-round action. Top-seeded Endicott College will host the semifinals and championship games Saturday and Sunday in Beverly, Mass. PSU (12-6) will meet third-seeded Lasell College (9-6) in Saturday's second semifinal at 3:00 p.m. Endicott will play in the 1:00 p.m. game against the winner of Wednesday's first-round match-up between fourth-seeded Castleton State College (12-6) and fifth-seeded Salem State College (8-4).
The ECAC Championship game is slated for 1:00 p.m. Sunday at Endicott.
Plymouth State earned the ECAC invitation after advancing to the Little East Conference Championship game last Saturday. PSU was defeated by Western Connecticut State University for the LEC title, but not before the fifth-seeded Panthers pulled off a pair of upsets, knocking off fourth-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 8-7, last Tuesday in the first round and stunning top-seeded Eastern Connecticut, 11-10 in double overtime, Thursday in the semifinals.
Lasell enters the ECAC Tournament after finishing in fourth place in the Pilgrim League during the regular season and being knocked out of the conference tournament in the semifinals by league champion Springfield College. PSU and Lasell met earlier this season in a non-conference match-up, with the Panthers edging the Lasers, 6-4, on March 26 in Newton, Mass.
Endicott earned the top seed in the ECAC Tournament after being upset by Western New England College in the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament Championship game. The Gulls had captured four straight titles, winning every conference game since 2003. Castleton enters the ECAC Tournament after being defeated by Mount Ida College in the championship game of the North Atlantic Conference, and Salem State posted an 8-4 record this year as an independent after returning to the varsity level for the first time since 2003.
This will be Plymouth State's sixth appearance in the ECAC post-season tournament. PSU first participated in the event in 1988 and 1989, and then returned over a decade later in 2001. The Panthers advanced to the championship game in 2005 with wins over Lasell and Eastern Connecticut before falling in the final to Western New England, and captured last year's crown with victories over MIT and Roger Williams.
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