PHILADELPHIA - Sixty NCAA men’s and women’s soccer student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates today for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate soccer. This year’s list of 30 women includes University of Pennsylvania senior defender Paige Lombard.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
A transfer from the University of Miami (Fla.), Lombard has enjoyed a stellar campaign on the field during her two years playing for the Red and Blue. After missing the 2014 season due to injury, she made an immediate impact in 2015 as she earned All-ECAC, first-team All-Ivy, and third-team NSCAA All-Region.
Lombard has anchored a Penn defense that has allowed just six goals this season -- none in the run of play since the 12th minute of the season -- while posting five shutouts. Last year, the Quakers allowed just 11 goals in 16 matches and earned seven clean sheets. Offensively, Lombard has scored five goals during her Penn career.
Of the 60 candidates in men’s and women’s soccer, 29 have grade-point averages of 3.5 or higher, 13 are returning All-Americans, and 12 are on the preseason watch list for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, which recognizes the top player in collegiate soccer. Outside of academics and athletics, all candidates also have been consistently involved in community service on their campus or in their communities.
Each of the two candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one male candidate and one female candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. ?
The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2016 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Cup championships in December.
For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.