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May 6, 2002

PSC earns top seed in ECAC Tournament

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State College will be making its third consecutive women's lacrosse post-season appearance this week when the Panthers begin play in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) New England Division III Tournament.

The top-seeded Panthers will host eighth-seeded Salve Regina University this Wednesday (May 8) at Arold Field in a first-round game. A PSC victory on Wednesday would give the Panthers the right to host the ECAC semifinals and championship game this weekend (May 11-12) at Arold Field. All tournament games at PSC are free admission.

PSC earned the top seed in this week's tourney after capturing the Little East Conference regular season and tournament titles and compiling a 13-2 overall record. Salve Regina received an invitation after placing second in the Commonwealth Coast Conference during the regular season and advancing to the CCC Tournament championship game.

The rest of Wednesday's first-round games include #7 University of New England at #2 Eastern Connecticut State University, #6 Gordon College at #3 Wheaton College, and #5 Babson College at #4 Bridgewater State College. The semifinals and championship games are slated for Saturday and Sunday at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Plymouth State, led by second-year head coach Wynne Lobel, is participating in the ECAC Tournament after making NCAA Tournament appearances the last two years. PSC earned automatic NCAA bids in 2000 and 2001 after winning New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance championships, but the Little East Conference champion is not eligible for an automatic NCAA berth this spring because the LEC is a first-year conference in the sport of women's lacrosse.

"We're thrilled with the honor of being the top seed in the ECAC Tournament," said Lobel. "It gives us a chance to play more games. We're excited about the opportunity to play and compete for an ECAC championship."

PSC is seeking its second ECAC women's lacrosse championship. The Panthers won the inaugural ECAC Division III New England title in 1984.

The Panthers are hoping to follow the lead set this year by the Plymouth State men's soccer and women's basketball teams. They were both the top seeds in their respective ECAC New England Tournaments, and ended the season on a positive note by capturing the title in front of the home fans.

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