Keene State Set To Defend Little East Conference Title

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Defending Little East Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champion Keene State College received eight first-place votes and 138 total points to claim the top spot in the annual pre-season poll of the league's field hockey head coaches.


The Owls captured their fourth regular season and third tournament crowns a year ago as they compiled a 14-8 overall record and a 9-1 mark in LEC play. KSC received a bid to the NCAA Tournament where they fell in the opening round, in double overtime, to UMaine-Farmington. Over the past two seasons, the Owls have shown their dominance in the LEC as they have compiled a stellar regular season league record of 19-1.


Plymouth State University received three first place votes and 135 points to narrowly finish second behind KSC. The Panthers concluded last fall with an 8-2 record in the LEC and an overall tally of 18-4. PSU fell in the finals of the LEC Tournament but received a bid to the ECAC Tournament. The Panthers then proceeded to sweep though the tournament by winning three contests earning the program its second title and first since 1987.


After finishing in a tie for fourth in the 2004 regular season with 6-4 league ledgers, Worcester State College and Westfield State College finished in third and fourth, respectively, in this season's preseason poll. The Lancers, who finished last fall with an 11-8 overall record, received the remaining first-place vote and 104 total points in the poll. Worcester State received a bid to post-season play but fell in the first round of the ECAC Tournament to LEC foe PSU. As for the Owls, they finished the 2004 season with an overall record of 11-6 and received 95 total points in the poll.


Closely behind those two institutions in fifth and sixth, respectively, in the preseason poll were Fitchburg State College and Framingham State College. Fitchburg State received 93 total points while Framingham State garnered 91. The Falcons concluded last fall with a 10-7 overall record and a 7-3 mark in league play, which was good for a program-best third place finish in the standings. As for the Rams, the 2004 squad finished with a 10-7 overall record and a 6-4 tally in the LEC.


Eastern Connecticut State University (7-13; 5-5/7th) collected 77 total points to finish seventh just ahead of the University of Southern Maine (4-16; 3-7/T-8th) who earned 71 points. Bridgewater State College (1-15; 1-9/T-10th) earned 42 total points to finish ninth while Salem State College (4-11; 3-7/T-8th) was a point behind with 41 in tenth place.


The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (1-15; 1-9/T-11th) followed in 11th place with 31 points, while first-year program Western Connecticut State University (First Season) earned 18 points to round out the poll.


2005 Little East Conference Preseason Field Hockey Coaches' Poll

1. Keene State College (8) 138
2. Plymouth State University         (3) 135
3. Worcester State College (1) 104
4. Westfield State College   95
5. Fitchburg State College   93
6. Framingham State College   91
7. Eastern Connecticut State University   77
8. University of Southern Maine   71
9. Bridgewater State College   42
10. Salem State College   41
11. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth   31
12. Western Connecticut State University   18

(first place votes in parentheses)