PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The first annual New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance Tournament takes place this week, beginning at four campus sites around the league.
One of the sites is Arold Field at Plymouth State College, where the Panthers, the second seed in the NEWLA Northern Division, will host Colby-Sawyer College, the third seed in the same division, at 4:00 p.m. It is a rematch of a game played just two days earlier, when PSC blasted the Chargers 21-4 at Arold Field.
The other Northern Division semi-final matches top-seeded New England College against fourth-seeded Keene State. The two Southern Division match-ups include #4 UMass Dartmouth at #1 Eastern Connecticut and #3 Elms College at #2 Bridgewater State. The divisional finals are scheduled for Friday at 4:00 p.m. at the site of the highest seed in each division, with the NEWLA Championship game slated for Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the Northern Division champion.
Led by sixth-year head coach Wynn Hohlt, Plymouth State has turned in an impressive 8-5 overall record to date, including an 8-1 NEWLA mark. PSC tied New England College for first place in the Northern Division, but NEC won the tiebreaker due to the head-to-head win over Plymouth State. The Panthers showed dramatic improvement over last season, when the team completed a 3-14 campaign.
"We're thrilled to be hosting a first-round game," said Hohlt. "It's a little tricky playing a team that you just played a couple of days before. We played really well Sunday and won with relative ease, so you worry about their intensity and a letdown. We'll have to make sure we're focused on the game."
If both Plymouth State and New England College win first round games, as expected, it would set up a rematch of the top two teams in the Northern Division. NEC nipped PSC, 11-10 on April 10th, in Henniker, NH.
"We definitely want a chance to play them again," said Hohlt. "We don't feel like we played our game the first time around, and we would like the chance to show what we can really do as a team."
Plymouth State and New England College's 8-1 conference mark was matched by Eastern Connecticut, which finished first in the Southern Division.
"I think we have a pretty good shot," said Hohlt about her team's chances at winning the whole thing. "We had a close game against NEC when we didn't play well, and we beat Eastern Conn. when we did play well, and we would look forward to playing them both again."
Two of PSC's top players were honored by the NEWLA for last week's efforts. Sophomore Amanda Beedy (New Hampton, NH) was selected NEWLA Offensive Player of the Week, and junior defender Samantha Guthrie (Falmouth, MA) was named NEWLA Defensive Player of the Week.
Other top players for the Panthers include seniors Danielle Paradis (Londonderry, NH) and Carrie Killeen (Greenfield, MA). Paradis leads the team in scoring (34 goals, 20 assists), and Killeen and Beedy are tied for second on the team with 48 points apiece.
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