PLYMOUTH, N.H. - It's "Conference Tournament Week" for the eight schools in the Little East Conference, and Plymouth State University will be right in the thick of all four fall post-season tourneys.
PSU earned the right to participate in this week's LEC tournaments after finishing in the top four in all four sports - men's and women's soccer, field hockey and volleyball. Three of the four Panther teams (men's soccer, volleyball and field hockey) finished in the top two in the conference during the regular season, and three teams (men's and women's soccer and field hockey) will enjoy home-field advantage for at least one game of the tournament.
Further, Plymouth State is the only one of the eight conference schools to be seeded in the top four in all four LEC fall tournaments. PSU is seeded No. 1 in men's soccer, No. 2 in field hockey and volleyball, and No. 3 in women's soccer.
The PSU FIELD HOCKEY team finished second in the LEC in the regular season with an 8-2 conference record, 11-5 overall. The three-time defending champion Panthers will host seventh-seeded Salem State College Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at Arold Field. The winner moves on to the LEC semifinals Friday, hosted by top-seeded Keene State. The Panthers won nine of 10 games in October, including a 5-0 victory at Salem State.
The Panther WOMEN'S SOCCER squad posted its first winning season in three years with a 10-5-1 overall record, and finished third in the conference with a 5-2-0 mark. PSU will host sixth-seeded Rhode Island College on Tuesday in a first-round game (5:00 p.m.) at Panther Field, with the winner advancing to the semifinals Friday, hosted by top-seeded Keene State. Plymouth State is meeting RIC in the first round of the playoffs for the fourth year in a row, having defeated the Anchorwomen in 2000 and 2001 before losing last season.
The PSU MEN'S SOCCER team is the top seed in the LEC Tournament after sharing the regular season title with Keene State (both at 5-1-1) and getting the No. 1 spot based on a head-to-head win over the Owls. The Panthers, 12-2-2 overall and ranked seventh in New England, will host a semifinal contest Wednesday at Panther Field (5:00 p.m.) against fourth-seeded Western Connecticut. The LEC Championship is slated for Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed.
For the second year in a row, the Panther VOLLEYBALL team is enjoying its most successful season in its history, winning a record 27 matches (27-6 overall) and finishing second in the conference at 6-1. PSU earned a first-round bye and automatically advances to a 2:00 p.m. semi-final match on Saturday in Danbury, Conn., against the winner of Wednesday's first-round match between Keene State and Southern Maine. Top-seed Western Connecticut will play in the 4:30 p.m. semifinal Saturday, with the championship match slated for Sunday (Nov. 9) at 12 noon.
The LEC tournament champion in all four sports receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
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