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Soccer: Two Gain LEC Recognition

Hickey and Furman honored for defense and offense, respectively

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hickeyLEC72 707.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Senior defender Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and junior forward Matt Furman (Montville) have been recognized by the Little East Conference in its weekly soccer awards program.

At left: Lauren Hickey (7) (Liz Cutler photo)

Hickey was named the women's Defensive Player-of-the-Week and Furman the men's Offensive Player-of-the-Week for leading their respective teams to two wins each that included a shutout victory in conference play.

The weekly honor was the first in the career of Hickey, last year's LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year. In his first season last year after transferring from the University  of Rhode Island, Furman was recognized once as Offensive Player and once as Rookie-of-the-Week.

After missing six games with a facial injury, Furman returned to score four of the team's six goals last week, including a hat trick in a 3-1 win Sunday over Kean University, ranked No. 10  in the NSCAA South Atlantic Region. The previous day, Furman scored the second goal in a 3-0 victory over the University of Southern Maine. The Kean game represented the first multiple-goal game in the career of Furman, who  has seven goals in seven matches this year.
Ranked fifth in New England with a 9-3-1 overall record, the Eastern men have won four of their last five and share second place in the conference with a 3-1-0 record. The Warriors are the defending conference champion.

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A 2009 All-New England fourth-team selection, Hickey played all 180 minutes in two games as the Warriors' defense posted their fifth and sixth shutouts of the season. Hickey, a four-year starter, has played the entire match six times this year in helping Eastern to six shutouts and a 0.77 goals-against average (7 goals in 12 matches).

At right; Matt Furman (21)

The Eastern women (11-0-1)  are ranked fifth in New England, and the 2009 LEC tournament champions are atop the LEC standing at 4-0-0. The squad has set program records this year for consecutive games unbeaten (currently 12) and consecutive wins. The team's record ninth straight victory came in Saturday's victory.

The women visit Amherst College Wednesday at 4 p.m. while the men visit Rhode Island College in an LEC match Saturday at 1 p.m. Amherst is rated third in New England, 25th nationally.