PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance play-offs get underway Wednesday, with Plymouth State College, the top seed in the Northern Division, hosting fourth seeded Keene State College at Arold Field.
The Panthers (10-4) earned the top seed in the division after posting an unblemished 5-0 mark in Alliance games. The Owls (6-7), in their second season as a varsity program, completed the regular season 2-3 in NEWLA outings.
The winner of Wednesday's contest advances to the tournament semi-finals on Friday against the winner of the other Northern Division contest, #3 University of New England (9-2) at #2 New England College (7-7). The championship game, matching the Northern and Southern Division champions, is slated for Sunday (May 2) at the site of the Southern Division champ.
Teams in the Southern quarterfinals include #1 Bridgewater State (11-4), #2 UMass Dartmouth (6-5), #3 Eastern Connecticut (10-3) and #4 Endicott (7-7).
"One of our goals this season was to win all of our NEWLA games, and earn home-field advantage in the play-offs," said PSC first-year head coach Abby Burbank. "We're proud of the regular season we've had, and we're looking forward to competing for the NEWLA championship this week."
PSC actually posted a 6-1 record against the other seven teams in the NEWLA play-offs, dropping only a 12-9 decision at Bridgewater State on Apr. 10th. Wednesday's game will be a rematch of an Apr. 15th encounter, which saw PSC capture a 14-7 victory in Plymouth. The Panthers also defeated the Owls last season, 19-2, in KSC's first season of varsity lacrosse.
In last year's inaugural NEWLA Tournament, PSC won its first round game at Arold Field over Colby-Sawyer, but went on the road for the semi-finals, and lost at New England College, 11-9. NEC went on to defeat Eastern Connecticut for the championship, 15-10.
PSC has an excellent balance between experienced upperclassmen and strong newcomers. The defensive unit is led by seniors Sam Guthrie (Falmouth, MA) and Erin Fitzgerald (Mansfield, CT) and junior Jess Shapiro (Windsor Locks, CT), while the offense is led by junior Amanda Beedy (New Hampton, NH) and freshmen Janet Conner (South Freeport, ME) and Robin Hartman (Reisterstown, MD. The Panthers are also solid in goal with sophomore Lisa Goldberg (Newton, MA).
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