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Little East Conference preseason lacrosse polls released

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Little East Conference preseason lacrosse coaches' polls have been announced, and Plymouth State University was picked to finish in fifth place this spring in both the men's and women's standings.  The votes were cast by the conference's head coaches, and the polls were released by LEC Commissioner Jonathan Harper.

            The Panther men's lacrosse team, which ended up in fifth place in the Little East last season, was picked to finish in the same spot this year.  PSU pulled upsets in the first round and semifinals of the LEC Tournament last spring before falling to Western Connecticut in the championship game. The Panthers advanced to the ECAC New England Tournament for the third time in four years and finished with a 12-7 overall record.

            Defending regular season champion Eastern Connecticut State University was narrowly picked to win the conference, receiving three first-place votes and 57 points.  The 2007 champion Keene State College got two top votes and 55 points to finish second in the poll, and defending tourney champ WestConn was picked third, receiving three first-place votes and 53 points.  UMass Dartmouth was fourth in the poll with 37 points, just ahead of PSU with 32, while Salem State (21), UMass Boston (20) and Southern Maine (13) took the bottom three slots.

            The Panther women's lacrosse team, which finished in a three-way tie for fifth place last season with Rhode Island College and Western Connecticut, was picked to finish ahead of those two schools this year.  PSU missed out on the LEC Tournament for the first time last spring, and had its string of post-season appearances stopped at eight in a row.

            Two-time defending LEC regular season and tournament champion Eastern Connecticut received six first-place votes and topped this year's women's poll with 55 points. Keene State got the other top votes and finished second in the poll with 48 points, while Southern Maine (40) and UMass Dartmouth (34) rounded out the top four.  Plymouth State was fifth with 26 points, and WestConn and RIC tied for sixth with 20 points each.

            The 2009 LEC lacrosse tournaments are scheduled for the first week in May, with the conference champions receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The complete Little East Conference lacrosse preseason poll results are listed below:

2009 LEC Men's Lacrosse Pre-Season Poll

1.        Eastern Connecticut (3)            57

2.        Keene State (2)                          55

3.        Western Connecticut (3)           53

4.        UMass Dartmouth                      37

5.        Plymouth State                         32

6.        Salem State                               21

7.        UMass Boston                           20

8.        Southern Maine                          13

  (first-place votes in parentheses)

2009 LEC Women's Lacrosse Pre-Season Poll

1.        Eastern Connecticut (6)            55

2.        Keene State (1)                          48

3.        Southern Maine                          40

4.        UMass Dartmouth                      34

5.        Plymouth State                         26

6.        Rhode Island College                 20

           Western Connecticut                 20

  (first-place votes in parentheses) 

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