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Eastern Connecticut Earns No. 1 Seed in Women's Lacrosse Field

Eastern Connecticut Earns No. 1 Seed in Women's Lacrosse Field

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Eastern Connecticut State University earned the top seed in the 2011 Little East Women's Lacrosse Championship for the fourth time in the past five years this afternoon. The Warriors posted an undefeated mark in the conference circuit for the fourth time in the 10-year history of the Little East sponsored sport.

Eastern Connecticut used a second-half surge to post a come-from-behind victory at Southern Maine to capture a share of its fifth regular-season crown and prevent a three-way tie atop the conference standings. Keene State College (5-1) earned the second seed and will join the Warriors with a first-round bye into the semifinals. Southern Maine (4-2), Western Connecticut State University (3-3), Plymouth State University (2-4), and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (1-5) complete the six-team championship field.

The 10th Little East Women's Lacrosse Championship Tournament will begin on Tuesday, May 3 with two matches. The fifth-seeded Panthers (7-7) will travel to the fourth-seeded Colonials (8-8), while the sixth-seeded Corsairs (5-10) will visit No. 3 Southern Maine. Top-seeded Eastern Connecticut (8-7) will await the winner of the Western Connecticut-Plymouth State matchup, while Keene State (11-5) will host the winner of the Southern Maine-UMass Dartmouth victor two days later in the semifinal round. The two semifinal winners will advance to the conference championship on Saturday, May 7. The 2011 Little East champion will earn the automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Under the direction of Christine Hutchison, the Warriors boast a combined conference record of 24-1 in the regular-season since the start of the 2007 season en route to four No.1 seeds. In 2011, Eastern Connecticut sports the highest scoring offense in the Little East-only contests, averaging 16.67 goals per game. Junior attacker Ashley Prizio (Brookfield, Conn.) and sophomore Daniela Marchitto (Orange, Conn.) have accounted for 54.9 percent of the Warriors' markers. Prizio sits atop the conference circuit in goals (56) and game-winners (4), while ranking second in points (65). Eastern Connecticut is 8-2 overall when the Warriors net at least 10 goals in a contest. Hutchison's charges registered a season-high 21 markers at Rhode Island College on April 23. The Warriors begin their quest for their fourth women's lacrosse championship trophy on May 5.

Under the watchful eye of Katie Arsenault, Keene State secured the second seed for the second time in the past three seasons after posting a 5-1 mark. The Owls have advanced to the semifinal round in each of their nine tournament appearances, including two berths in the title contest. Keene State features a well-balanced offensive attack with six student-athletes registering at least 25 points. Senior attacker Lauren Sawyer (Westbrook, Maine) leads the squad in assists (41) and points (62), while ranking second in draw controls (35). The Owls are streaking into the playoffs, winning 10 of their past 11 contests.

The Little East will provide full coverage of the 2011 Little East Women's Lacrosse Championship on Tournament Central with complete box scores and recaps as well as updated brackets.

2011 Little East Women's Lacrosse Championship Tournament

First Round – Tuesday, May 3
#5 Plymouth State University at #4 Western Connecticut State University
#6 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at #3 University of Southern Maine

Semifinal Round –Thursday, May 5
#4/#5 Winner at #1 Eastern Connecticut State University
#3/#6 Winner at #2 Keene State College

Championship Round – Saturday, May 7
Semifinal Winner #1 vs. Semifinal Winner #2, at highest remaining seed

The Little East Conference is celebrating its Silver Anniversary during the 2010-11 academic year. The conference began sponsoring women's lacrosse in 2002. The Little East has grown to its current eight-institution membership and the sponsorship of 19 intercollegiate athletics sports.