Keene State Preseason Pick In Field Hockey
GORHAM, Maine -- Keene State College is the clear preseason favorite in
the 2000 Little East Conference field hockey coaches preseason poll.
The Owls, two time defending regular season and tournament champions,
received 8.5 first place votes and a total of 127 points. Southern Maine edged
Plymouth State for second place. The Huskies garnered 1.5 first place votes and
102 points. The Panthers snared one first place vote and 98 points.
The winner of the Little East conference tournament will be awarded an
automatic berth in the NCAA Division III national tournament for the first time
in the conference's history.
Five Little East schools (Eastern Connecticut State University, Keene State
College, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Plymouth State College and the
University of Southern Maine) and six Massachusetts State College Athletic
Conference schools (Bridgewater State College, Fitchburg State College,
Framingham State College, Salem State College, Westfield State College and
Worcester State College) will compete under the Little East banner for the
coveted spot in the national tournament. The two conferences combined forces
because neither had the required seven or more field hockey teams to secure an
automatic NCAA bid.
Westfield State, 1999 MASCAC co-champion, notched 79 points for fourth
place. Fitchburg State grabbed 72 points for fifth. In a tight three-way battle
for sixth, UMass Dartmouth bested the other 1999 MASCAC co-champion, Salem
State, and Worcester State. The Corsairs received 60 points (sixth), the Vikings
58 points (seventh), and the Lancers 55 points (eighth). Bridgewater State,
Eastern Connecticut, and Framingham State round out the poll.
Seven of the eleven conference teams will qualify for the LEC tournament.
Number two will host number seven, number three will host number six and number
four will host number five in the quarterfinal round on October 24. The regular
season champion will then host the semifinals on October 27 and the championship
game on October 28.
2000 Little East Conference Preseason Field Hockey Poll
1) Keene State (8.5) 127
2) Southern Maine (1.5) 102
3) Plymouth State (1) 98
4) Westfield State 79
5) Fitchburg State 72
6) UMass Dartmouth 60
7) Salem State 58
8) Worcester State 55
9) Bridgewater State 34
10) Eastern Connecticut 31
11) Framingham State 21
(first place votes in parentheses)