PSC picked high in LEC Soccer Coaches poll

DANBURY, Conn. - The Plymouth State College men's soccer team was chosen to capture its fourth consecutive Little East Conference championship in 1999 in the annual pre-season coaches poll, while the Panther women were chosen to finish third this season under a new head coach.

The Panther men, who have won 15 consecutive LEC matches dating back to 1996, received four of the eight first place votes and 68 points in the balloting. Keene State was second with one first-place vote and 56 points, and Western Connecticut was picked third with one first place vote and 42 points. UMass Dartmouth received the other two top votes and tied for fourth in the poll with Eastern Connecticut, followed by Rhode Island College (29 points), Southern Maine (18) and UMass Boston (17).

PSC captured the 1998 title with a 7-0 conference mark, finishing 17-1-2 overall. The Panthers, guided by eighth-year head coach Shawn Griffin, are also ranked 11th in the nation in Division III in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America pre-season rankings.

The men open the season at Panther Field on Saturday, Sept. 4, against Franklin & Marshall (1:00 p.m.)

The Panther women, who finished third last season with a 5-2 conference mark, 9-7-2 overall, finished behind favored Western Connecticut and runner-up Keene State in the pre-season LEC poll. WCSU got three first-place votes and 58 points, while KSC received four top votes and 54 points. PSC was third, followed by Eastern Connecticut (41 points and one first-place vote), Southern Maine (40 points), UMass Dartmouth (22), Rhode Island College (18) and UMass Boston (8).

PSC will have a new head coach in 1999, as Rebecca Lisack has taken over from Beth Field. The Panther women have made 16 straight post-season appearances since 1983, including nine NCAA showings from 1986-94. Plymouth State also won the first seven LEC titles from 1990-96.

The Panther women open the 1999 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 4, at Plattsburgh State (11:00 a.m.). The home opener is Thursday, Sept. 9, against Wheaton (7:00 p.m.).

LEC Pre-Season Men's Soccer Coaches Poll

1. Plymouth State (4) 68 points

2. Keene State (1) 56 points

3. Western Connecticut (1) 42 points

4. UMass Dartmouth (2) 34 points

Eastern Connecticut 34 points

6. Rhode Island College 29 points

7. Southern Maine 18 points

8. UMass Boston 17 points

LEC Pre-Season Women's Soccer Coaches Poll

1. Western Connecticut (3) 58 points

2. Keene State (4) 54 points

3. Plymouth State 47 points

4. Eastern Connecticut (1) 41 points

5. Southern Maine 40 points

6. UMass Dartmouth 22 points

7. Rhode Island College 18 points

8. UMass Boston 8 points

-- 30 --