Panthers to kick off 2019 campaign at home Aug. 31
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's soccer team was picked to finish eighth in the Little East Conference (LEC) in 2019 following a vote of the league's nine head coaches.
WestConn was the coaches' top pick, accruing six first place votes and 61 points. Eastern Connecticut (56 points), UMass Boston (48 points) and Southern Maine (36 points) each received single first place votes, while Castleton amassed 35 points to round out the top five.
UMass Dartmouth was picked sixth with 30 points, while Keene State (25 points) finished just ahead of PSU (22 points). Rhode Island College rounded out the poll in ninth place with 11 points.
Sixth-year head coach Ryan Joy becomes the longest tenured coach in program history and looks to guide the Panthers back to the LEC Tournament after missing out each of the last two years. PSU qualified for the postseason each of his first three seasons at the helm, including a run to the semifinals in 2016.
Joy is hoping another year of experience for a talented freshmen class from a year ago, coupled with veteran experience and a splash of new faces will be a recipe for success in 2019. Senior Caitlin Catania (Billerica, Mass.) and sophomore Cat Robbins (Franklin, Mass.) will serve as co-captains and are expected to provide the team with strong leadership as PSU looks to make a statement in the LEC.
The team's top two scorers from a year ago are both back in sophomore Sarah Hicks (Sutton, Mass.) and junior Mallory Lloyd (Hartland, Vt.). Hicks led the Panthers with eight goals and 16 points last fall, while Lloyd added six goals and three assists, tied for the most on the team, for 15 points.
Robbins, junior Jenna Parsons (Windham, N.H.) and sophomore Elena Register (Helena, Ala.) all shared time in goal last year. The trio combined to post five shutouts in 2018, with a 1.25 goals against average and a .782 save percentage.
Catania and sophomores Ashley Acevedo (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) and Lizzy Bloch (Los Angeles, Calif.) will anchor the defense while seniors Keegan Burch (Nashua, N.H.) and Amy Luther (Westerly, R.I.) provide veteran experience at the midfield position.
The Panthers open the regular season on Saturday, Aug. 31 at Arold Field with a non-conference tilt against Emerson College. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m.
– 30 –