PLYMOUTH, N.H. - It will be the sixth post-season appearance in the past seven seasons for the Plymouth State College men's soccer team when the Panthers travel to Hartford, Conn., Wednesday to take on Trinity College.
The Panthers received the sixth seed in the ECAC New England Championship Tournament Monday, and will battle the third-seeded Bantams at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. PSC finished the regular season with a 12-8-0 overall record and advanced to the final of the Little East Conference Tournament, while Trinity completed its regular season with a seven-game winning streak and an 11-3-0 overall mark.
Plymouth State will be returning to the ECAC Tournament for the first time since making back-to-back appearances in 1993 and 1994. PSC also played in the NCAA Championships in 1995, '97 and '98.
The winners of Wednesday's quarterfinal games advance to the semi-finals on Saturday (10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.) at the site of the highest remaining seed. The two semifinal winners meet for the championship Sunday at 12 noon.
The other quarterfinal matches on Wednesday include No. 8 Gordon (14-6) at top-seeded Middlebury (10-2-2), No. 7 Wheaton (12-5-1) at No. 2 Amherst (12-3-1), and No . 5 Tufts (9-4-1) at No. 4 Bates (9-4-1).
Plymouth State brought a seven-game winning streak of its own into Sunday's LEC Championship game, including a 4-0 shutout over UMass Boston in last Friday's semifinal. PSC took top-seeded Keene State into overtime before the Owls scored and clinched the conference's automatic NCAA berth with the 1-0 verdict. PSC and KSC shared the LEC regular season title, both teams going 6-1. The Panthers have won 21 of their last 22 regular season conference games dating back to 1996.
Four Panther players were selected to the LEC All-Tournament Team - seniors Kevin Martin (Foxboro, MA) and Michael Soares (West Haven, Conn.), junior Simon Sendowski (Gothenberg, Sweden) and sophomore Justin Wengell (Newington, Conn.).
"We're pleased the ECAC committee has included us in their post-season tournament," said Panther head coach Shawn Griffin. "We play a tough schedule, and even with eight losses, we think we've had a good season. We're looking forward to going down there and giving it everything we've got. Trinity has had a very strong season, so it should be a great game."
The Panthers are led by Martin, a senior midfielder and ‘98 All-America selection. He leads the team in scoring this fall with 10 goals and 25 points, and is a candidate for LEC Player of the Year. Martin notched two of his 10 goals in the LEC semifinal win over UMB.
PSC also has a strong defensive unit, led by sophomore Magnus Eriksson (Arjang, Sweden), senior Scott Curran (Pawcatuck, Conn.) and Sendowski. They were instrumental in helping the Panthers shut out eight of their 20 opponents.
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