DANBURY, Conn. – Following its third straight Little East Conference loss Wednesday evening at Western Connecticut State University, 4-0, the Eastern Connecticut State University field hockey team has virtually no margin for error remaining – and may need some help, as well -- if it hopes to qualify for the LEC playoffs for the fourth straight season.
A game over .500 in LEC play after an encouraging 2-0 home win over Bridgewater State University Oct. 3, Eastern (4-8, 4-6 Little East) has dropped its last three in the conference by a combined score of 11-2 to slip from a solid post-season contender to a borderline candidate.
With an opportunity to move ahead of Plymouth State University and Westfield State University into sole possession of seventh place in the 13-team conference with a win Wednesday, the Warriors instead remained in a three-way tie with the Panthers and Owls for the eighth and final playoff berth. The loss was Eastern's first after six straight wins over Western.
Eastern closes out its conference slate hosting Keene State (9-1 LEC) Saturday and Oct. 27 visiting Framingham State University (0-9), where the Warriors are 0-5 on the road this year. Westfield hosts Plymouth Saturday and visits Fitchburg State University (5-4) Oct. 27, while Plymouth plays a road contest at Worcester State University (7-3) Oct. 27 after facing host Westfield State Saturday.
The Warriors will gain the eighth and final playoff berth by virtue of their regular-season win over Plymouth if the two teams finish in a two-way tie for eighth place. Westfield's win over Eastern would give the Owls the final spot if Westfield and Eastern tie for eighth place.
Playoff quarterfinal games are scheduled for Oct. 30, with the four finalists meeting at the site of the highest remaining seed Nov. 2-3.