PROVIDENCE, R.I.— Having been challenged only once in 18 previous games against Rhode Island College in this 18-game series, the outcome of Tuesday's Little East Conference match against the Anchorwomen was virtually pre-ordained.
The result of the win, however, moved the Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team a step closer to securing a first-round bye – or better – in the upcoming LEC playoffs.
Against Rhode Island College (1-10, 0-5 LEC) eight players contributed a point as Eastern (9-6, 4-1 LEC) won its eighth game in the last nine contests with a 13-1 victory. All of the scoring came in the first half.
More than simply extending Eastern's win streak against RIC to 19 Tuesday, the victory kept the Warriors in contention for a first-round bye in the LEC playoffs, at worst, and at best, a possible share of the LEC regular-season title.
To some degree, Eastern has put itself into a win-win situation when defending LEC playoff champion and LEC leader Plymouth State University hosts Keene State College Thursday in the final LEC regular-season contests for both teams.
If Plymouth prevails over Keene, it would guarantee the Panthers the regular-season title and No. 1 tournament seed. It would eliminate Eastern from title contention, but the Keene loss would eliminate the Owls from contending for the No. 2 seed. A Keene victory over Plymouth would pull the Owls into a two-way tie for second with Eastern, but would allow the Warriors to earn a share of the regular-season championship with a win Saturday at UMass Dartmouth.
Regardless of the Plymouth-Keene outcome, a victory by Eastern Saturday would leave the Warriors with the No. 2 tournament seed and a bye into next Thursday's semifinals, where they would play at home against a first-round victor.