Colgate Selected to Repeat in Patriot League Men's Soccer

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG American's Alassane Kane was selected the preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
American's Alassane Kane was selected the preseason Offensive Player of the Year.

Aug. 21, 2012

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Colgate, which hosted the 2010 Patriot League tournament and won last year’s four-team playoff as the second seed, was chosen as the favorite in 2012 by topping the League’s preseason poll in men’s soccer, it was announced Tuesday.

Voting was conducted by the League’s head coaches and men’s soccer sports information directors, who could not cast a ballot for their own teams.

The Raiders collected 91 points and eight first-place votes to garner the poll’s top position. American, which hosted the 2011 League tournament and has appeared in two consecutive championship matches, took second with 85 points and five first-place ballots. Third place went to Lehigh with 67 points, while Navy (64 points, one first-place vote) completed the top half.

Lafayette, which has narrowly missed out on the League tournament each of the last two seasons, took fifth with 48 points and the remaining two first-place nods. The rest of the field was Bucknell in sixth with 47 points, Army seventh with 31 and Holy Cross eighth with 15.

2012 marks the inaugural season of the preseason All-League team in men’s soccer, which is also voted on by the coaches and media contacts. Colgate and American, last year’s finalists, shared the lead with three selections apiece, while Bucknell and Lafayette tied with two each. Lehigh had one.

American senior forward Alassane Kane was named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Colgate senior backliner Patrick Letourneau garnered the preseason Defensive Player of the Year nod.

Kane was American’s top offensive player in 2011. He finished the season tpos on the team and fourth in the League with 15 points, while tying for fourth with four goals. Kane was a first-team All-League selection last season, and he tied for second in the League with three game-winning tallies.

Letourneau returns to anchor a Raider defense that finished third in the League allowing 0.91 goals per contest last season. Colgate pitched 10 shutouts a season ago, with Letourneau playing in all 22 of his team’s matches during its championship run. He also contributed a bit offensively, with a pair of goals and five points.

Kane had two teammates join him on the preseason All-League squad in senior midfielder Ryan Morales and junior defender Cristobal Soto. The two Raiders joining Letourneau on the team were forward Shane Conlin and midfielder Mike Garzi, both seniors.

Bucknell’s two representatives voted to the preseason team were senior midfielder Brendan Burgdorf, a MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List member, and junior defender Mayowa Alli. Lafayette’s pair was senior midfielder Sean Peckham and sophomore defender Julian Plummer.

Lehigh junior Ciaran Nugent, the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year, rounded out the squad.

Three teams open the 2012 campaign Friday. Defending champion Colgate opens the day at 4:30 p.m. hosting Binghamton, while Bucknell heads to Richmond, Va., for the VCU Invitational against the host Rams at 7:30 p.m. American has a late start at 10 p.m. out west at Cal State Fullerton.

Three more begin Saturday, beginning with Lehigh entertaining Hofstra at 3 p.m. Army welcomes academy rival Air Force to West Point, N.Y., at 7 p.m., while Navy begins its season with a 7 p.m. start on the road against 23rd-ranked Old Dominion.

Lafayette’s slate begins Tuesday, Aug. 28, when the Leopards visit Fairleigh Dickinson at 7 p.m. The final school to begin its season is Holy Cross. The Crusaders, under first-year head coach Marco Koolman, will host Quinnipiac Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.

2012 Preseason Poll

TeamPoints (First-place votes)2011
Colgate 91 (8) 11-5-6 (4-1-2 PL)
American 85 (5) 7-12-2 (5-2-0 PL)
Lehigh 67 8-4-6 (4-2-1 PL)
Navy 64 (1) 7-7-5 (3-2-2 PL)
Lafayette 48 (2) 9-5-4 (3-2-2 PL)
Bucknell 47 7-9-2 (2-5-0 PL)
Army 31 7-10-1 (2-4-1 PL)
Holy Cross 15 2-13-2 (1-6-0 PL)

Preseason All-League Team

Alassane Kane, American Sr. F 20 gp, 6-3-15, 3 GWG, 1st team All-PL
Shane Conlin, Colgate Sr. F 22 gp, 4-3-11, 2nd team All-PL
Ryan Morales, American Sr. M 19 gp, 0-3-3, 1st team All-PL
Brendan Burgdorf, Bucknell Sr. M 18 gp, 2-6-10, 2nd team All-PL, Academic All-PL
Mike Garzi, Colgate Sr. M 21 gp, 1-2-4, 1 GWG
Sean Peckham, Lafayette Sr. M 15 gp, 1-6-8, 1 GWG, 1st team All-PL
Cristobal Soto, American Jr. D 20 gp, 0-1-1, 1st team All-PL
Mayowa Alli, Bucknell Jr. D 18 gp, 7-2-16, 4 GWG, 1st team All-PL
Patrick Letourneau, Colgate Sr. D 22 gp, 2-1-5, 1st team All-PL
Julian Plummer, Lafayette So. D 18 gp, 1-0-2, 1 GWG, 2nd team All-PL
Ciaran Nugent, Lehigh Jr. GK 18 gp, 8-4-6, 11 SHOs, 0.41 GAA, .896 save %, GKOY

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year – Alassane Kane, American, Sr., F
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year – Patrick Letourneau, Colgate, Sr., D