PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State University men's soccer team will play in the ECAC Division III New England Tournament for the fourth straight season this Wednesday when the Panthers visit Brandeis University for a first-round game (5:00 p.m.)
The Panthers (10-6-2) received the fifth seed in the eight-team tournament, and will face fourth-seeded Brandeis (10-7-3) on Wednesday. Plymouth State is making its ninth post-season appearance in the last 10 years and the 12th in the past 14 years.
The other first round games on Wednesday are top-seeded Babson College (12-6-3) hosting No. 8 Suffolk University (10-5); No. 2 Johnson and Wales University (15-5) taking on No. 7 New England College (10-6-3); and No. 3 seed U.S. Coast Guard Academy (10-4-4) hosting No. 6 Norwich University (11-4-1). The semifinals and finals are this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 11-12, with the higher seeded teams hosting each game.
Plymouth State, led by fifth-year head coach Rob Wright, received the ECAC berth after capturing the Little East Conference regular season title with a 5-2-0 mark, and advancing to the LEC Championship game before falling to Keene State, 3-0.
The third seed in last year's ECAC Tournament, PSU defeated Albertus Magnus in the opening round before a 3-1 loss at Rhode Island College in the semifinals. PSU was the eighth seed in the 2004 ECAC tourney and gave a strong showing in a 1-0 first-round loss at top-seeded MIT. The Panthers were the second seed in the 2003 ECACs, tied seventh-seeded Salve Regina in the first-round game and advanced on penalty kicks (3-1), but then lost in overtime to Keene State in the semifinals, 3-2.
Brandeis received the fourth seed in this year's ECAC tourney after finishing finished tied for seventh place in the competitive University Athletic Association (UAA), which placed five teams in the NCAA Division III tournament. The Judges closed out their regular season with a 2-1 overtime win at New York University on Saturday, denying the nationally-ranked Violets the UAA crown. Brandeis also topped a nationally-ranked Emory squad in conference play. This is Brandeis's 14th appearance in the ECAC tournament in head coach Mike Coven's 34 years at the helm, but their first since 2003.
PSU, which has made 16 NCAA appearances, is playing in its 11th ECAC Tournament. The Panthers' previous selections came in 1973, 1981, 1985, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2005, winning championships in '81, '85 and '01.
-- 30 --