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October 21, 2008

Top Little East Weekly honors for three PSU student-athletes

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Three Plymouth State University student-athletes were honored by the Little East Conference Tuesday with selections as Player of the Week in the sports of field hockey and men's and women's soccer.

            Junior Sarah Smith (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) was named LEC Field Hockey Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season; junior Lauren Lavery (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) was selected as LEC Women's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week; and senior Tyler Shute (Deerfield, N.H./Concord) was tabbed as LEC Men's Soccer Goalkeeper of the Week. They were instrumental in PSU's three teams combining for a 4-2-1 record on the week.

            A junior forward, Smith (right) scored five goals in three games last week, leading PSU to a 2-1 record.  She scored two goals in both of PSU's weekend victories, Saturday's 5-0 LEC triumph at Fitchburg State and Sunday's 8-2 non-conference home win over Thomas College. She also scored a second-half goal to tie the game against New England College in what turned out to be an NEC overtime win. Smith, who also earned the LEC honor once in September, leads PSU and ranks fourth in the conference with 12 goals this season.

            A junior midfielder, Lavery (left) finished a 2-0 week for the Panthers with three goals and four assists as she had a foot in all seven PSU goals.  She scored three goals and assisted on the fourth in Saturday's 4-1 LEC win over Rhode Island College.  She scored the first three goals of the game, all in the first half, for the natural hat trick, and assisted on the second half insurance marker. She also collected assists on all three goals in Wednesday's 3-2 non-conference win over Castleton, setting up the game-winner in the 88th minute. Lavery shares the team lead with six goals this season and owns the team lead with four assists.

            A senior keeper, Shute (right) posted a .864 saves percentage and a 1.35 goals against average in two games last week.  He made 15 saves on Saturday as PSU pulled out a key 0-0 double overtime tie against conference-leading Rhode Island College for his second shutout of the season.  He allowed just three goals on the week, all in Wednesday's 3-0 loss to defending national champion Middlebury.

            There are two weeks remaining in the regular season, and all three Panthers teams are battling for post-season berths in the LEC. The field hockey team (7-6 overall, 5-3 in the LEC) is tied for second place in the conference, the men's soccer squad (4-8-2, 1-2-2) is tied for fifth, and the women's soccer team (5-5-3, 1-3-1) is in sixth. 

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