After finishing as the runner-up by the barest of margins last season, Penn State Altoona is a strong favorite to take their first Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference men's soccer title, according to the AMCC preseason coaches’ poll.  Pitt-Greensburg, the 2004 champion who beat the Lions in penalty kicks, was selected to finish second.  The poll ranks all ten teams for the first time.

Preseason Player of the Year honors were awarded to Penn State Altoona goalkeeper Tim Wassell (Hollidaysburg HS/Hollidaysburg, PA).  Wassell, a third team regional All-America and first team All-AMCC selection in 2004, boasted a league-best .65 goals allowed average, a .814 save percentage, and posted 10 shutouts.  The senior logged 641 shutout minutes last season to rank in the top 10 in NCAA Div. III history for most consecutive scoreless minutes.

The AMCC kicks off conference play on Saturday, September 24.  The conference championship will be Saturday, November 5 at the highest remaining seed.  The winner will receive the AMCC's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.    

Preseason Rankings:
1. Penn State Altoona
2. Pitt-Greensburg
3. Penn State Behrend
4. Frostburg State
5. Lake Erie
6. La Roche
7. Medaille
8. Pitt-Bradford
9. Hilbert
10. Mount Aloysius

Preseason Player of the Year:
Tim Wassell, Penn State Altoona



                                    Other players to watch:

FROSTBURG STATE - Head Coach Keith Byrnes
2004:  5-3-1 AMCC, 11-8-2 overall
F/M Matt Moffa (Eastern Technical HS/Baltimore, MD)...First team All-AMCC in 2004 & 2003...led the Bobcats in goals (10) and points (22) for second straight year...2004 team MVP...2005 captain.

HILBERT - Head Coach Rick Couell
2004:  0-9 AMCC, 1-14 overall
M Tim Jordan (Frontier HS/Hamburg, NY)...Contributed 7 goals and 4 assists in 2004.
M Pat Kane (West Seneca West HS/West Seneca, NY)...Returning from injury in second half of the season...2 assists last season.

LA ROCHE - Head Coach Weston Hawley
2004:  6-3 AMCC, 10-10 overall
No information available.
F Danijel Pajic (Baldwin HS/Pittsburgh, PA)...Four-year starter for the Redhawks...led the team in assists and second in scoring last season.
D Jeff Knecht (Seneca Valley HS/Cranberry, PA)...Another four-year starter...will anchor the defense.

LAKE ERIE - Head Coach Dale Sheptak
2004:  5-3-1 AMCC, 9-10-1 overall)
F Justin Daly (Hubbard HS/Hubbard, OH)...First team all-conference in 2004...broke school record for career goals and points last season...scored 28 points (11 goals, 6 assists) to lead the Storm to their first playoff appearance.
M Tim Bassall (Euclid HS/Euclid, OH)...Named to All-AMCC second team last season, scoring 8 goals and 1 assist.

MEDAILLE - Head Coach Dan Krzyzanowicz
2004:  3-5-1 AMCC, 8-10-2 overall
M Cory Cwiklinski (Lancaster HS/Lancaster, NY)...All-conference second team selection in 2004...ranked #2 in the AMCC in goals (15) and points per game (1.95), third in assists (7)...tri-captain for 2005.
M Andrew Larracuente (Lancaster HS/Lancaster, NY)...Named to AMCC honorable mention team in 2004...team captain the past two seasons.

MT. ALOYSIUS - Head Coach Doug Clay
2004:  2-7 AMCC, 2-15 overall
F Jeremy Herwig (Somerset HS/Somerset, PA)...Contributed 18 points (7 goals, 4 assists) as a freshman for the Mounties last season.
D/M Andy Clay (Somerset HS/Somerset, PA)...Scored 3 goals and 3 assists in 2004.

PENN STATE ALTOONA - Head Coach John Parente
2004:  7-0-2 AMCC, 13-5-4 overall
M/F Brian Pierzga (State College HS/State College, PA)...2004 AMCC Newcomer of the Year and first team All-AMCC selection...ranked in top 5 in the league in goals and points as a freshman.

PENN STATE BEHREND - Head Coach Dan Perritano
2004:  5-3-1 AMCC, 12-6-1 overall
D Dan Bash (Thomas Jefferson HS/Pittsburgh, PA)...First team All-AMCC defender for the past two years...also named to the all-region team...led the second best defense in the conference (1.04 GAA)...team captain in 2005.
M Justin Reese (Thomas Jefferson HS/Pittsburgh, PA)...First team all-conference selection...scored 18 points (7 goals, 4 assists) to rank among the league leaders in 2004.

PITT-BRADFORD - Head Coach Kevin Perrigo
2004:  1-8 AMCC, 2-15 overall
M Winnie Rajakumar (Gateway HS/Monroeville, PA)...One of the Panthers' scoring leaders in 2004.

PITT-GREENSBURG - Head Coach Ted Wawrzyniak
2004:  8-1 AMCC, 13-6-2 overall

F Adam Zeleznick (South Park HS/Pittsburgh, PA)...Three-time first team all-conference selection and two-time AMCC Player of the Year...led the AMCC in points (2.10 ppg), goals (20) and game-winning goals (5) in 2004...runner-up in balloting for Preseason Player of the Year.
MF Justin Innocent (North Lebanon HS/Lebanon, PA)...Second team All-AMCC last season...tied for #3 in assists (7) and #7 in goals (8) in the league.