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May 4, 2009

PSU Men’s Lacrosse invited to ECAC New England Tourney

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. - For the third straight season and fourth time in the past five years, the Plymouth State University men's lacrosse team has received an invitation to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament.

            The Panthers (7-8) are the #4 seed in this year's ECAC Division III New England Tournament, and will host fifth-seeded Massachusetts Maritime Academy (8-6) on Wednesday (May 6) in a first-round game at Panther Field (7:00 p.m.)  The two other first-round games on Wednesday include second-seeded Wheaton College (7-7) entertaining seventh-seeded Becker College (9-3), and third-seeded New England College (8-7) hosting sixth-seeded Castleton State College (11-6). 

            The first-round winners will advance to the semifinals on Saturday, May 9 at top-seeded Endicott College in Beverly, Mass.  Endicott will face the winner of Plymouth State/Mass. Maritime game at 3:00 p.m. in one semifinal, and the winner of No. 2 Wheaton/No. 7 Becker will play the winner of No. 3 New England College/No. 6 Castleton at 6:00 p.m. in the other semifinal.  The semifinal winners will meet Sunday, May 6 at 3:00 p.m. for the championship.

            Plymouth State earned the ECAC invitation after finishing in a tie for third in the Little East Conference with a 4-3 mark and advancing to the LEC semifinals last week. PSU knocked off UMass Dartmouth in the first round, 10-4, before falling to eventual champion Eastern Connecticut in the semis, 10-5. 

            Mass. Maritime enters the ECAC Tournament riding a four-game winning streak to end the regular season.  The Buccaneers, who have doubled their win total of the last two seasons combined, finished in fifth place in the Pilgrim League during the regular season, falling short of making the four-team Pilgrim League play-offs.

            PSU and MMA did not face each other during the regular season but have five common opponents.  Both teams defeated Salem State, Clark University, UMass Boston and UMass Dartmouth (which PSU did twice), while Mass. Maritime defeated Lasell (17-10 on Apr. 19) and Plymouth State lost to the Lasers (14-7 on Mar. 24).

            This will be Plymouth State's seventh 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 the 2007 crown with victories over MIT and Roger Williams.  PSU lost to Lasell in the semifinals last year.

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