Montclair, NJ (12/12/08) – For the first time in its history, the Montclair State men's soccer team placed three players on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division III All-America team. Seniors Nick Mele ( Delran, NJ / Delran), Owen Amster ( Somerville, NJ / Somerville) and Tyler Masterson ( Long Valley, NJ / West Morris Central) were selected to the 40-member squad.
Amster was a First-Team pick as he joined Dominick Bucci (1993), Rob McOmish (1996) and Bill Anthes (2006) as the only players in school history to earn First-Team All-America honors. Meanwhile Mele collected his second consecutive honor as he too joined an exclusive group becoming the sixth player to be named All-America on multiple times.
The trio players led Montclair State to a 21-1 mark this season, itslone loss coming to eventual national champion Messiah in the “Sweet 16” of the NCAA Division III Tournament, 1-0 in double-overtime. MSU captured its third straight New Jersey Athletic Conference title and went unbeaten in the league (9-0) for the second time in three seasons. Montclair, ranked in the Top 10 of the NSCAA throughout the season also reached as high as No. 3 in the rankings before finishing at No. 7 for the second consecutive year. Montclair set the school record for victories and was the last unbeaten, untied team in Division III this season.
Amster, the NJAC Defensive Player of the Year anchored a Red Hawks unit that is ranked fourth in Division III in defensive average at 0.36 goals per game. A First-Team All-NJAC pick, Montclair surrendered just seven goals in 22 games and recorded 14 shutouts while allowing only 120 shots.
Mele, an NSCAA All-American last year, capped off the finest career by an MSU goalkeeper. The all-time leader in wins, shutouts and goals against average, Mele was named the NJAC Goalkeeper of the Year for a second straight season as he led the conference in goals against average (0.35), wins (21) and shutouts (11) while stopping 49 of 56 shots. He finished his career with a 0.52 career goals against average and 208 saves. Mele recorded an amazing record of 56-4-2 and 32 shutouts.
Masterson led Montclair State and the NJAC in scoring with 39 points. Named the NJAC Offensive Player of the Year, Masterson tallied five game-winning goals, including the conference championship score as Montclair claimed the NJAC crown with a 1-0 win over Rutgers-Camden on November 7. A three-time All-Conference pick, Masterson registered a point in each of the Red Hawks first 14 games. He finished second in the conference in both goals and assists and ranked in the Top 50 in the NCAA in both categories. Masterson finished seventh all-time in scoring in school history as he tallied 95 points, including 39 goals which is sixth-best.