MEDAILLE MEN honored by Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference
Lachlan Wilkinson - AMCC Co-Offensive Player of the Year; Newcomer of the Year; first-team selection
Why he stood out: The Australian freshman was showered in recognition by the conference after scoring 14 goals and adding seven assists. "Locky" overwhelmed defenders with his pace, scything runs and keen finishing, and it's a frightening thought for the rest of the AMCC that he still has room to get better. He'll especially want another shot at conference winners Behrend, against whom he was held scoreless.
Micky Blythe - AMCC Coach of the Year
Why he stood out: In just his second season at the helm, Blythe was aggressive in his overseas recruiting - and it paid off in unbelievable fashion. Three of his five Australian started and eventually earned all-conference honors, while Scot James Lang and Brit Mitchell Ali paired exceptionally in the heart of the midfield.
Don't sleep on the fact that the Medaille coach - despite all the newcomers - kept key returnees, like Brian Arcara, Nick DuMond and Prince Saysay, happy and involved.
Michael Lennox - AMCC First Team
Why he stood out: The senior from Scotland - in his first year with the Mavs - was a man among boys for much of the season. Physical, equally adept at attacking and defending, and essentially a second coach for Medaille, Lennox finished with eight goals and three assists. The Mavs fell in the AMCC finals to Penn State Behrend.
Sam Beesley - AMCC First Team
Why he stood out: Medaille certainly had enough firepower offensively, but it was the contributions and consistency of fullback Beesley that gave the side balance and made sure potential shootouts were lopsided wins. The Australian newcomer was tough, vocal and a good athlete.
Brian Arcara - AMCC First Team
Why he stood out: Vaulted from a third-team selection to the top squad on the back of a season where the Orchard Park alum permitted just five goals in nine conference games. Arcara dropped his goals against average a half point from his junior year, posting a shiny 0.83 GAA. Giving up four goals in his last collegiate game probably wasn't ideal, but his body of work at Medaille is deserving of a first-team spot.
Anthony Marafioti - AMCC Second Team
Why he stood out: A high school forward in Australia converted to center back because of Medaille's ridiculous attacking depth, Marafioti adjusted smoothly, pairing nicely with Beesley en route to allowing the second fewest goals in the conference.
Nick DuMond - AMCC Second Team
Why he stood out: Immediately gave the Mavs' offense a shot in the arm when he entered the lineup in the season's third game, providing pace and persistence - as well as six goals and seven assists. The sophomore forward from Starpoint High School spent the summer with the NPSL's Erie Commodores, which aided his development.
James Lang - AMCC Second Team
Why he stood out: The Scottish midfielder laid claim quickly to the No. 10 shirt and a spot at center mid because of his composure on the ball and unselfish distribution. Lang's nine assists were best on the Mavs and good for second in the conference.
BUFFALO STATE MEN:
Bass Sarr, sophomore - SUNYAC Offensive Player of the Year, first-team selection
Why he stood out: Sarr is effective in unusual fashion; he's not the smoothest or the most technical, but his rangy 6'3 frame and knack for putting himself in good spots led to a league-high 12 goals (and a league-high "dab" celebrations, too). The sophomore's long reach, ability to shield defenders and savvy in front of goal surprised opponents all year long, and it's scary that he has room to improve.
Tristan Myers, junior - SUNYAC First Team
Why he stood out: With Luke Pavone missing the entire year with broken toes, Tristan Myers elevated his production in the midfield, mesmerizing off the dribble on the left wing and adding a finishing touch that was absent in 2015. A balanced six goals and six assists - including a wild overtime winner against Geneseo - proved that substance accompanied flair. The winger's toughness on the ball was night and day better than last year.
Sammy Wasson, junior - SUNYAC Second Team
Why he stood out: Second team is a little harsh for Wasson, who was truly the Bengals' midfield metronome until a knee injury tempered the end of his season. The Clarence High School product is pure class, phenomenal at turning away from pressure, distributing the ball and switching the point of attack. His lack of stats - no goals and three assists - probably hurt his cause for more recognition, but his maturation on and off the field sets him up for what could be a massive senior campaign.
James Ritchie, senior - SUNYAC Second Team
Why he stood out: Ritchie is the type that you hate to play against but love to have on your team. He plays with supreme confidence, runs his mouth to unnerve the other team but backs up his talk with a high work rate and solid production. The East Aurora grad's seven goals paced Fredonia, and he spent much of his time operating as a lone striker - at times a very thankless task.
Parker Healy, senior - SUNYAC Third Team
Why he stood out: A fun player to watch finished his career on a high note at Fredonia after starting it at Medaille. After leading the Blue Devils in scoring last season, Healy added five goals and six assists in his final campaign. A powerful dribbler with an innate ability to absorb and fight through defensive pressure, the attacking midfielder could be a one-man wrecking crew at times.
[Update, Nov. 23: Healy has one year of eligibility remaining, due to a red-shirt he took while playing for Medaille. He was a senior scholastically, but a red-shirt junior athletically.]
Ryan Keller, senior - SUNYAC Third Team
Why he stood out: Unquestioned team leader wore his emotions on his sleeve and galvanized the Blue Devils when adversity struck - and potting the winner in the Battle of Lake Erie over Buffalo State was one of the season's highlights. His toughness and energy in the midfield will be hard for P.J. Gondek to replace.
Bryan Sibble, senior - SUNYAC Third Team
Why he stood out: The Medaille transfer's brilliant free kick to upset Oneonta was easily his season highlight, but Sibble was steady in the midfield, challenging Wasson for top technical ability in Western New York - with perhaps more of a knack for the killer ball. His poise in possession was a nice foil to Keller and Healy, who were at their best buzzing around the field wreaking havoc.
Email Ben Tsujimoto at email@example.com