GORHAM, Maine - Two-time defending Little East Conference men's soccer champion Keene State College received four first-place votes and 60 total points to claim the top spot in the annual pre-season coaches' poll.
A year ago the Owls finished third in the league with a 4-1-2 mark, but rallied to capture their second consecutive conference tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament. Keene State concluded the year with an overall mark of 13-5-3.
Western Connecticut, which received the four remaining first place votes, finished second in the coaches' poll with 54 total points. The Colonials captured the 2002 LEC regular-season title with a 6-1-0 slate, before bowing to the Owls in the finals of the league tournament. Western Connecticut finished the year with a stellar 14-3-5 mark.
Rounding out the top half of the pre-season poll were a pair of perennial contenders in Plymouth State University and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Plymouth State collected 49 points to place third, while UMass Dartmouth followed with 40 points in fourth place. Last year, the Panthers finished second in the league with a 5-2-0 mark, advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament and registered a final mark of 8-7-2. The Corsairs finished fourth in the regular season with a 4-2-1 mark, advanced to the semifinals of the LEC and ECAC Tournaments and concluded the year with a 12-6-2 record.
Rhode Island College (11-8-0; 2-5-0/6th), which led all teams with 42 goals scored a year ago, finished fifth in the poll with 34 points, while Eastern Connecticut State University (8-9-1; 3-4-0/5th) collected 26 points to place sixth.
The University of Southern Maine (4-10-3; 1-4-2/7th) received 15 points to finish seventh in the poll, and the University of Massachusetts Boston (3-13-2; 0-6-1/8th) followed in eighth with 10 points.
2003 Little East Conference Pre-Season Men's Soccer Coaches' Poll
1. Keene State College (4) 60
2. Western Connecticut State University (4) 54
3. Plymouth State University 49
4. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 40
5. Rhode Island College 34
6. Eastern Connecticut State University 26
7. University of Southern Maine 15
8. University of Massachusetts Boston 10
(first place votes in parentheses)
PSU picked fifth in LEC Women's Soccer Poll
GORHAM, Maine - Keene State College, the defending Little East Conference regular-season and tournament champion, received seven first-place votes and 63 total points to claim the top spot in the annual pre-season poll of the league's eight women's soccer head coaches.
A year ago, the Owls compiled a stellar 20-3-1 slate, which included a perfect 7-0-0 mark in conference play, and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, before concluding the year ranked 12th in the final NSCAA poll. Keene State established school records for most wins (20) and consecutive wins (11).
Eastern Connecticut State University earned the final first place vote and 56 total points to finish second in the pre-season poll. After finishing second in the final LEC 2002 regular-season standings with a 6-1-0 mark, the Warriors advanced to the semifinals of the conference and ECAC tournaments, before ending the year with a 15-4-0 mark.
Western Connecticut State University, which had won three consecutive conference tournament titles before bowing to Keene State a year ago, tallied 47 points to place third in the coaches' poll. A year ago, the Colonials registered an overall mark of 17-4-0 and a league ledger of 5-2-0.
Rhode Island College received 33 points to narrowly finish fourth ahead of Plymouth State University, which finished fifth with 32 points. The Anchorwomen finished fifth in the league a year ago with a 2-3-2 conference mark and a 7-10-2 overall record, while the Panthers were fourth at 3-3-1 in the league and 5-11-1 overall.
Rounding out the poll was the University of Southern Maine (4-12-0; 1-6-0/7th) in sixth place with 26 points, UMass Dartmouth (6-8-2; 2-4-1/6th) finishing seventh with 23 points and UMass Boston (2-16-1; 0-7-0/8th) in eighth place with eight points.
2003 Little East Conference Preseason Women's Soccer Coaches' Poll
1. Keene State College (7) 63
2. Eastern Connecticut State University (1) 56
3. Western Connecticut State University 47
4. Rhode Island College 33
5. Plymouth State University 32
6. University of Southern Maine 26
7. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 23
8. University of Massachusetts Boston 8
(first place votes in parentheses)
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