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Owls Set For Tournament Week

KEENE, N.H., 11/2/08 - The second season begins for several Keene State teams as the Owls prepare for Little East Conference tournament week. Both Owl field hockey and women’s soccer teams host quarterfinal games on Tuesday, Nov. 4, while the women’s volleyball team, courtesy of its top seed, gets to wait until Friday when it will host both semifinal matches and Saturday’s championship.

Field Hockey
The top seed in the field hockey tournament, Keene State 15-5 (10-1 LEC) will host eighth-seed Bridgewater State 7-10 (5-6) in an opening-round game at Owl Athletic Complex at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. KSC Coach Amy Watson is happy that her team is playing at home, but concerned about the upset factor. “We’re certainly glad to be playing at home, so we hope we can use that to our advantage on Tuesday,” she said. “It’s going to be a tough tournament this year. Teams have been beating up on each other all season. I expect to see some upsets along the way.”

Earlier this season, KSC shut out BSC 5-0. Erin Dallas netted two goals and goalie Vikki Stoessel made 10 saves.

Keene State is shooting for its fifth straight LEC championship and seventh overall crown. KSC won the championship the past four years, as well as in 1998 and 1999.

The Owls defeated the Bridgewater State both times the teams have met in tournament play, winning semifinal games last season (3-2) and in 2003 (6-0). KSC has an all-time record of 19-4 in LEC tournament action.

Women’s Soccer
The third seed in the women’s soccer tournament, Keene State 14-6 (5-2 LEC) takes on rival Plymouth State 5-8-4 (1-5-1 LEC) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at KSC. PSU ended up tied for sixth in the LEC but won the tiebreaker over Rhode Island College and earned the sixth seed and the right to visit the Owls. KSC has fared well against its rival in the tournament, winning all four meetings. The Owls defeated the Panthers in the semifinals in 1999 (1-0) and 2000 (2-0) and in the first round in 2005 (1-0, 2-OT) and 2006 (4-1). Earlier this season, the Owls defeated the Panthers 4-0 in Keene.

“We have a lot of young players who have made key contributions for us this year, so I’m hoping that will continue in the tournament,” said KSC Coach Denise Lyons. “The stakes are a little bit higher, and hopefully it won’t affect their play.”

The Owls have advanced to the finals eight times, winning the championship in 2002 (3-2 vs. WCSU) and 2004 (4-0 vs. ECSU). Last season, KSC defeated Southern Maine in the quarterfinals (3-1) before falling in the semifinals to ECSU 1-0.

Women’s Volleyball
The Owls, who set a record for wins in a season (27-8, 6-0 LEC), will play the waiting game until Friday. KSC will play the first of two semifinal matches at 6 p.m. against either fourth-seed Western Conn. or fifth-seed Plymouth State.

After being upset last year in the semifinals, the Owls realize they can’t look ahead. “We hope to get it right this time, or at least be more representative,” said KSC Coach Bob Weiner. “The players now understand that they can’t take any team lightly, even if we had beaten them during the regular season. We’re playing well, but we’re not going to take anything or anyone for granted.”

The Owls enter the tournament riding a 10-match winning streak.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435