Release by Scott Barker, AMC Sports Information Director
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Trojans from Hannibal-LaGrange University has been selected as the preseason favorites in the AMC Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll, the conference office announced on Friday.
Hannibal-LaGrange received six-of-the-12 possible first-place votes for 115 total points. Columbia College came in second, three points behind Hannibal-LaGrange, after receiving five first-place votes and 112 points.
The final first-place vote went to Lindenwood University-Belleville, who was voted third with 101 points.
No. 1 – Hannibal-LaGrange University Trojans (Six first-place votes, 115 total points)
- Hannibal-LaGrange finished last season as the AMC's Regular-Season Champion, as the team finished with a 12-4-4 overall record ad 10-0-1 in the AMC.
- The Trojans saw its season come to an end in the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Opening Round game, when they fell to No. 7-seeded Union (Ky.) in PKs.
- Hannibal-LaGrange will see Isaac Lehmkhul back on the pitch, as a year ago; he was second on the team with 22 points and 11 goals.
- Adriano Baeta is a key returner. He scored two goals last season.
- The team will miss AMC All-Conference Midfielder, Ignacio Garrido, who third on the team with 16 points (one goal, 14 assists).
- The Trojans begin its quest to repeat as regular-season champions on Aug. 30th, when they host Mount Mercy University at 4 p.m.
- The first AMC opponent that will square off against Hannibal-LaGrange will be the Spartans from Missouri Baptist University of Sept. 13th at 4 p.m. in Hannibal, Mo.
No. 2 – Columbia College Cougars (Five first-place votes, 112 total points)
- The Cougars finished last year's season with a record of 12-7-2 (8-1-2 AMC)
- After winning the AMC Conference Postseason Tournament, the Cougars earned an automatic berth to the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Opening Round. Columbia fell to Northwestern Ohio in the Opening Round game.
- Columbia will look for production from Michael Mayberry, who led the team with 10 goals last season. Mayberry was also second on the team with 22 points. He added two goals.
- The team will have to fill the shoes of AMC First-Team All-Conference midfielder, Zachary Felz. Felz was second on the team with eight assists and third with 14 points. He also scored three goals in 21 games played.
- The Cougars will also replace Mitchell Conning, who led the team with 10 assists and 24 points. He was third on the team with seven goals.
- Columbia gets its season underway on Aug. 24th, as they will host Central Methodist University at 7 p.m.
- The first conference matchup for the Cougars is on Sept. 12th, when they welcome Lindenwood-Belleville to Columbia for a 7 p.m. game.
No. 3 – Lindenwood University-Belleville (One first-place vote, 101 total points)
- The Lynx finished the season with a 9-2 record in the AMC and an overall record of 11-7.
- Andres Garza Rodriquez returns after a four goals, six assist, and 14 point season. He was third on the team in goals, second in points and tied for the team-lead in assists. He was named to the AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention list in 2016.
- The Lynx will welcome back leading goal scorer, Sebastien Durand. Durand scored eight goals, added six assists and had a team-high 22 points, before being named to the AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention list and being named the AMC Freshman of the Year.
- The team will have to replace two AMC All-Conference First-Team members:
- Christian Espitia played in 14 games as the Lynx's keeper. He allowed just 19 goals in 1,249.5 minutes and came up with 43 saves.
- Sebastian Reyes was named to the AMC All-Conference list and the All-Region list as a defender. Reyes picked up two goals and two assists for four points.
- Lindenwood-Belleville will travel to Chicago, Ill. on Aug. 25 and take on Saint Xavier University for its season opener.
- The first AMC contest for the Lynx, will be on the road in Columbia, Mo. where they will take on Columbia College on Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
No. 4 – Lyon College Scots (89 total points)
- Lyon finished the 2016 season with a record of 11-8-1 and 7-4 in the AMC.
- Ulises Caba Cordova comes back to the team, after scoring five goals and adding four assists. His 14 points were second on the team. He was named to the AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention team last season.
- AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention member, Mario Alonso, will not return to the team, after a three goal, five assist and 11 point season.
- The Scots travel to Pulaski, Tenn., to take on Martin Methodist at 7 p.m. for their season opener.
- Lyon's AMC schedule gets underway with a Sept. 12, 3:30 p.m. matchup with Harris-Stowe State University, in St. Louis, Mo.
No. 5 – Park University Pirates (80 total points)
- Park finished 2016 with an 8-6-2 overall record and 7-4 in the AMC.
- Pedro De Souza returns after scoring six goals for a total of 16 points.
- Nicolas Andre will be a key in the Pirates success as in 2016 he scored three goals and added five assists.
- The Pirates take a hit in losing NAIA All-American Honorable Mention and AMC All-Conference midfielder Tim Kloster. Kloster scored six goals and had seven assists last season.
- The 2017 campaign gets started on Aug. 27, as the Pirates host Central Methodist University at 1 p.m.
- The conference slate starts on Sept. 13, as Park will travel to St. Louis College of Pharmacy to take on the Eutectics at 9 p.m.
No. 6 – William Woods University (73 total points)
- The Owls finished 2016 with an overall record of 12-7 (6-5 AMC).
- William Woods returns AMC All-Conference First-Team forward and NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, Rodrigo Alves. Alves led the AMC with 15 goals.
- Anthony Moscatello, AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention, returns after scoring six goals in 2016 for the Owls.
- The team will miss Lendell Louis-Jacques, who was an AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention honoree last season. He is second in career assists (21) at William Woods.
- The Owls campaign will begin on Aug. 23, as the Owls travel to Lamoni, Iowa to take on Graceland University.
- The first AMC game for the Owls is on Sept. 16th, as they will travel East to St. Louis to take on Missouri Baptist University at 5 p.m.
No. 7 – Missouri Baptist University Spartans (63 points)
- Missouri Baptist is coming of an 8-7 (5-6 AMC) season.
- The Spartans are returning a trio of key players:
- Gerardo Espinoza scored seven goals, had seven assists for 21 points. He was second on the team in goals and led the team in both assists and points. Espinoza was named to the AMC All-Conference list as a midfielder.
- Rafael Rangel returns to the pitch, scoring two goals and two assists a year ago.
- The third key returner is Ben Boyd, who added two assists for the Spartans, as a defender.
- In addition to the three returners, the Spartans also lose two key players:
- Erick Ocampo, a 2016 AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention honoree, had five goals, two assists and 12 points for the Spartans.
- Aris Nukic found the back of the net eight times for Missouri Baptist and was named to the AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention list.
- The Spartans kickoff their season on Aug. 23rd at home vs. Evangel University.
- The first conference matchup for Missouri Baptist is on Sept. 13th, as they travel to Hannibal-LaGrange University to take on the Trojans at 4 p.m.
Tied-No. 8 – Freed-Hardeman University Lions (47 total points)
- The Lions finished 2016 with a record of 4-11 overall and 4-7 in the AMC.
- Andrij Sawczuk returns to the team, after scoring seven goals, four assists and had 18 points. He was third on the team in all three categories.
- George Achard will play a key role in the Lions success, as a year ago, he scored three goals, two assists and had eight points.
- The team has to replace two key members from a year ago:
- Alex Meany led the Lions in most offensive categories. The All-Conference Honorable Mention defender scored nine goals, had five assists and 23 points, which led the team.
- Nassar Ssempa was named to the AMC All-Conference First-Team.
- The Lions will be in action for the first time in 2017 on Aug. 26th, when the host Fisk University at 4 p.m.
- After seven nonconference games, Freed-Hardeman will play its first AMC match on Sept. 15th, when it takes on Williams Baptist College at 7 p.m.
Tied-No. 8 – Williams Baptist College Eagles (47 total points)
- The Eagles enter 2017, after going 5-10-1 overall and 4-6-1 in the AMC a year ago.
- Danilo Cruz returns to the Eagles lineup, after scoring four goals and adding two assists.
- Alexander Lafoon returns to the pitch. In 2016, he went 1-0 in goal and made 10 saves in six games for the Eagles defense.
- The team loses star Matheus Allonso, who led the team with 11 goals, six assists and 28 points. Allonso was named to the AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention list.
- The Eagles travel to Shreveport, La. on Aug. 30th to take on Louisiana State University-Shreveport at 4 p.m.
- The first AMC contest for the Eagles, matches them up with Freed-Hardeman University on Sept. 12th at 7 p.m. in Henderson, Tenn.
No. 10 – Harris-Stowe State University Hornets (32 points)
- The team welcomes back Adin Mulasalihovic, who led the team in goals (five), assists (two) and points (12).
- The Hornets also get Jordy Elera back, who was second on the team with six points.
- Harris-Stowe State loses Youssef Jacon and Gabriel Souza Santos, who combined for four goals and two assists last season.
- The Hornets kickoff their season on Aug. 26, as they host Kansas Christian College at 3:30 p.m.
- The first AMC contest for Harris-Stowe State on Sept. 12, as they Lyon College at 3:30 p.m.
No. 11 – Central Baptist College Mustangs (22 total points)
- The Mustangs ended the 2016 season with a record of 2-14 (1-10 AMC).
- Central Baptist is returning leading goal and point scorer, Callum Morris (SR/Leicester, England). Morris scored seven goals for 16 points. He was also named to the AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention team.
- The team will also welcome back Jarrel Grimes (SR/Port-of-Spain, Trinidad). Grimes did not play in 2016 due to an injury, but led the Mustangs with eight goals and 18 points in 2015 en route to being named to the AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention list.
- Midfielder Corey Laisure (SR/Alexander, Ark.) is also set to return to the pitch, as he led the team with three assists a year ago. Laisure also knocked in three goals.
- The team will miss midfielder Josh Reed, who scored one goal and added two assists in 12 matches last season.
- The Mustangs season gets underway on Aug. 21st, as the team travels to Little Rock, Arkansas to take on Louisiana State University-Shreveport.
- Central Baptist will play five non-conference games before making the journey to Parkville, Mo. to take on Park University in the clubs first conference game of 2017. The game is scheduled for Sept. 16th at 2 p.m.
No. 12 – St. Louis College of Pharmacy Eutectics (11 total points)
- The Eutectics finished last year with a 1-13 (0-11 AMC record)
- St. Louis Pharmacy welcomes back Naphtali Eke, who scored two goals a year ago.
- Nedzad Idizovic scored one goal last season, is expected to be the anchor of the Eutectics defense this season.
- The team loses Josh Anim Ano, who led the team with nine goals and 18 points.
- St. Louis Pharmacy will need to replace Thomas Jamieson, who was second on the team with three goals.
- The 2017 season will get underway for the Eutectics on Aug. 24th, as they battle Principia College.
- The Eutectics will battle Park University on Sept. 13th, at 9 p.m. This is the first AMC matchup of the season for St. Louis Pharmacy.
2017 AMC Men's Soccer Postseason Tournament
- The AMC receives two automatic berths to the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Opening Round.
- The regular-season champion receives the first automatic qualifier, with the second automatic qualifier coming from the highest tournament finisher that is not the first automatic qualifier.
- The tournament takes place on: Nov. 3 – Quarterfinals, Nov. 6 – Semifinals and Nov. 9 – Finals. The games are hosted be the highest seed that is involved in each game.
- The eight-team single-elimination bracket is determined by the final standings of the AMC men's soccer regular-season standings.
2017 AMC Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll
School (1st-place Votes)
St. Louis Pharmacy