KEENE STATE EARNS ECAC BERTH IN WOMEN’S SOCCER AND VOLLEYBALL
KEENE, N.H. 11/7/11 – Keene State women’s soccer and volleyball teams have earned berths to their respective ECAC Division III New England tournaments.
Selected as the second seed in the eight-team women’s soccer tournament, the defending champion Owls (13-7-2) will face Norwich University (11-4-3), the seventh seed, in a quarterfinal game on Wednesday (6:30 p.m.). The top remaining seed will host the semifinal and final rounds on Saturday and Sunday. Worcester State University (13-5-1), who defeated the Owls (3-1) earlier this season, is the tournaments’ top seed.
The fourth seed in the eight-team women's volleyball tournament and defending champ Owls (18-13) will go up against fifth-seed Salve Regina University (16-13) in an opening-round game at Spaulding Gym on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The semifinal and finals will be played at the highest remaining seed on Saturday and Sunday. The Coast Guard Academy (23-6) is the top seed in the tournament. Coast Guard and second seed Plymouth State are both regionally ranked.
The Keene State women's soccer team is no stranger to ECAC tournament play. The Owls, who lost to Eastern Conn. in a LEC championship game decided on penalty kicks, will be making their 12th trip to the ECAC championships. KSC has won back-to-back titles, defeating Endicott College (3-1) last season and edging top seed Brandeis in penalty kicks in 2009. The Owls also won the ECAC Division III championship in 2005 and as a Division II member in 1986, 1987, and 1993.
Norwich was upset in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinals, losing to Saint Joseph’s (Conn.) in a game also decided by penalty kicks.
Disappointed at not making the NCAA tournament, KSC Coach Denise Lyons says her team is looking forward to defending their crown. “This team played with a lot of heart all season and deserves to continue to play and end their season on a positive note,” she said.
The Keene State women’s volleyball team, which lost to UMass-Boston (3-1) in the Little East semifinals on Saturday, will be making its fourth appearance in the ECAC Tournament. The Owls captured championship with a 3-1 victory over Endicott and lost semifinal matches to Brandeis in 2006 and 2007.
KSC Coach Bob Weiner said his team didn’t get the luck of the draw. “Salve is going to be a real hard team to deal with,” he said. “They have size and they play with great passion.”
Making its first trip to the ECAC tournament, Salve Regina, which set a program record for wins (16), suffered a 3-0 setback to Endicott in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) semifinals. Weiner said his team has shaken off the tough loss to UMB and is looking forward to defending its championship. “The players want to win the title again,” he said. “They’d like to leave with some type of legacy.”