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Panthers tied for fourth in LEC pre-season poll

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Three-time defending Little East Conference champion Western Connecticut State University received six of the eight first-place votes and claimed the top spot in the annual pre-season women's soccer poll of the league's head coaches.

The Colonials have captured the LEC post-season title all three years of the event, and have finished first during the LEC regular season the past two seasons. Last year, WCSU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before concluding the campaign with a 20-3-0 slate. Western enters the 2002 season sporting a 22-conference game unbeaten streak (18-0-4), dating back to 1998.

Keene State College, which received the other two first-place votes, placed second in the poll, while Eastern Connecticut was picked third. The Owls advanced to the finals of both the LEC and ECAC New England Tournaments before finishing with a 19-6-0 record, while the Warriors were 13-5-1, including an appearance in the ECAC Tournament.

Plymouth State College and the University of Southern Maine tied for fourth in this year's poll. The Panthers completed the 2001 season with a 7-10-0 record, while the Huskies finished 7-9-0.

Rounding out the poll were Rhode Island College (8-7-2 last year), University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (7-8-1), and the University of Massachusetts Boston (0-16-0).

2002 LEC Pre-Season Coaches Poll

1. Western Connecticut (6).......... 62

2. Keene State (2).................... 57

3. Eastern Connecticut............... 47

4. Plymouth State ...................... 34

4. Southern Maine...................... 34

6. Rhode Island College .............. 26

7. UMass Dartmouth .................. 20

8. UMass Boston...................... 8

(First-place votes in parenthesis)

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