PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The post-season tradition for the Plymouth State College women's soccer team continued Monday when the Panthers received an invitation to the play-offs for the 16th consecutive season.
Plymouth State is the fifth seed in this week's Eastern College Athletic Conference New England Tournament, and will face fourth-seeded Gordon College Wednesday (Nov. 4) at 1:30 p.m. in Wenham, Mass. The winner advances to the semi-finals Saturday (Nov. 7) at the site of the highest remaining seed in the tournament, with the championship game slated for Sunday (Nov. 8).
Babson received the top seed and will host eighth seeded Westfield State. The other first round games Wednesday include No. 2 Wheaton hosting No. 7 Anna Maria and No. 3 Bates entertaining No. 6 Middlebury.
"I am so excited right now," said PSC first-year head coach Beth Field. "Getting to the play-offs is always one of our team goals. We just fought and fought until the end, and finally good things happened. Making the post-season says a lot for the PSC tradition and how strong the program is and will remain."
Plymouth State finished the regular season with a 9-7-1 overall record, and a 5-2 mark in the Little East Conference. PSC also received votes in this week's NSCAA Division III New England weekly poll.
PSC's match against Gordon (16-3-1 overall) Wednesday will be the second meeting this season between the two schools. Gordon came to Plymouth State on October 1st and handed the Panthers a 2-1 upset.
"We didn't play well in that game," said Field, who played in four post-season tournaments for PSC from 1988-91. "We're looking forward to playing them again and redeeming ourselves and having no regrets this time."
The Panthers are making their third ECAC visit in the last four years and sixth overall, winning the tournament in 1983, 1984 and 1995. PSC also made NCAA Tournament nine straight years from 1986-94 as well as 1997.
"The last three games we've decided to peak and play like the team I knew we could," said Field. "It seems like it's taken a little while to kick in and play like a team, but we're playing our best soccer of the season right now."
The Panthers are led by a strong junior class, including forward Caitlin Cook (Cutchougue, NY), midfielders Erin Pepe (Franklin, MA) and Tara Dickson (Sussex, NJ) and defender Jackie Blanchard (Plymouth, MA). Cook leads the team in scoring with 23 points (10 goals, three assists), and freshman Jill Wolters (Sussex, NJ) has 11 points (five goals, one assist.).
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