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Point Park men's soccer team nets big awards in All-AMC selections

Nov. 18, 2011

Point Park head coach Jeroen Walstra is the AMC Coach of the Year.


PITTSBURGH -- Led by AMC Coach of the Year Jeroen Walstra and All-AMC First Team selections Alex Sala and Francis Tabi, the Point Park University men's soccer team was well-represented on the All-American Mideast Conference Men's Soccer Teams that were announced by the league office Friday (Nov. 18).

In addition to Sala (M, Jr., Weiler/Austria) and Tabi (F, Jr., Kumasi, Ghana)on the first team, All-AMC Second Team choices from Point Park were Shane Lucas (D, Sr., West Homestead, Pa.), Brett Gwodsen (D, So., Elizabeth, Pa.) and Matt Annecchiarico (F, Jr., Woodbridge, Ont.). Mitchell Kelman (GK, So., Frederick, Md.) was named All-AMC Honorable Mention.

Walstra, in his fifth season as head coach, was named AMC Coach of the Year after leading Point Park to a record of 12-5-1 and the AMC Tournament Finals as the No. 1 seed. The Pioneers were 1-15-1 in 2009 and 8-9 last year before their big season in 2011 that tied the school record for victories.

Walstra a native of the Netherlands, is the all-time leader in wins at Point Park with a record of 29-53-3 in five seasons. That record includes 20-14-1 the last two years. In addition to his duties at Point Park, he is also the goalkeeper coach for local professional soccer team the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the United Soccer league.

Sala, a junior midfielder from Austria, had seven goals, three assists and 17 points the year. The playmaking midfielder is a key to the Pioneers' attack, and he was the only player in the league to get a vote for AMC Player of the Year besides the winner of that award, Ben Truax of Walsh. Sala is All-AMC First Team for the second year in a row.

Tabi is a junior forward from Ghana who had nine goals, two assists and 20 points on the season. The All-AMC First Team honor this year goes with his All-AMC Honorable Mention from 2009.

Lucas is a senior defender from West Homestead, Pa. A four-year starter and a co-captain along with Sala, Lucas started all 18 games at central defender and had one goal. His All-AMC Second Team honor this year is in addition to being named All-AMC Honorable Mention in 2009 and 2010.

Gwodsen is a sophomore defender from Elizabeth, Pa., and Serra Catholic High School. He is a two-year starter, and he started all 17 games in which he played this year. He totaled two goals, two assists and six points. Gwosden mainly played defense but was used up front from time to time.

Annecchiarico is a junior forward from Woodbridge, Ont., who tied Sala for second on the team with 17 points. He totaled seven goals and three assists to get a spot on the All-AMC Second Team. This award marks his second all-conference nod as he was Honorable Mention in 2009.

Kelman is a sophomore goalkeeper from Frederick, Md. Kelman stepped into the starting role this year, and he started 16 of 18 games. He totaled seven shutouts, 95 saves and a goals-against average of 0.94. Kelman was named the AMC Defensive Player of the Week three times on the year. He got All-AMC honors for the first time.