Oct. 6, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame women's soccer senior defender/co-captain Lauren Fowlkes (Lee's Summit, Mo./St. Teresa's Academy) has been chosen as one of the 10 finalists for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, it was announced Wednesday. The Senior CLASS Award is presented annually to the nation's top senior player based on their dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition.
Those 10 finalists were selected from a list of 30 candidates in each division, based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete. They have been placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote which began Wednesday and continues through Nov. 14. Fans now can vote on-line daily through the Senior CLASS Award web site (www.seniorclassaward.com), while a special page highlighting Fowlkes' accomplishments and a link to the on-line voting ballot will go live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com) in the coming days. Votes from coaches and media will be coupled with fan balloting to determine the recipient of the award, with this year's honoree to be announced Dec. 3-5 during the NCAA Women's College Cup in Cary, N.C.
Fowlkes is aiming to follow in the footsteps of her former Fighting Irish teammate, high-scoring forward Kerri Hanks, who took home the 2008 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award on the way to earning her second Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy. Fowlkes also was one of two Notre Dame soccer players to be chosen as a finalist for this year's Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, as standout men's soccer forward Jeb Brovsky copped similar honors on Wednesday.
Throughout her career, Fowlkes has exemplified the term "student-athlete". Last year, she earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) third-team All-America honors and ESPN The Magazine second-team Academic All-America accolades after piling up career highs of 10 goals and four assists (24 points) following an early-season move to forward due to various injuries on the Notre Dame roster. Fowlkes also was named the BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year and BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player, as well as a NSCAA first-team all-region and first-team all-conference selection, and a first-team NSCAA Scholar All-America selection.
This season, Fowlkes has returned to her natural position as a central defender and could become the first player in BIG EAST history (since league play started in 1995) to collect both the conference's offensive and defensive player-of-the-year awards during her career. A candidate for this year's Hermann Trophy, as well as a Soccer America Preseason All-American and the BIG EAST Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year, she has been a key component of Notre Dame's stout defense that has allowed just four goals through 12 matches this season, posting nine shutouts and a 0.33 goals-against average (GAA). The Fighting Irish currently lead the BIG EAST and rank among the top three in the nation in shutout percentage (0.75 - second in NCAA) and goals-against average (third).
In addition, Fowlkes has started all 12 matches for Notre Dame this season, leading the team in minutes played (1,056) and contributing a pair of assists in a Sept. 24 win over Cincinnati at Alumni Stadium, while also earning Defensive Most Valuable Player honors at last month's Inn at Saint Mary's Classic and twice garnering a place on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.
What's more, Fowlkes is in the unique position of possibly becoming just the 13th student-athlete in Notre Dame athletics history (and the third Fighting Irish women's soccer player) to couple All-America and Academic All-America honors in the same season on two different occasions. The 1996 NSCAA Player of the Year, goalkeeper Jen Renola, was the first to pull off that feat in 1995 and 1996, and more recently, midfielder Brittany Bock (now with the Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer) matched that double in 2007 and 2008.
Fowlkes is enrolled in Notre Dame's College of Science, where she is working towards her bachelor's degree in science-business and maintains a sharp 3.657 cumulative grade-point average.
No. 5/7 Notre Dame (11-1, 5-0 BIG EAST) plays its final two home matches of the regular season this weekend, beginning at 7:30 p.m. (ET) Friday when it plays host to Seton Hall in a BIG EAST match at Alumni Stadium -- a free live audio broadcast and in-game blog of that contest, along with live statistics will be available on the UND.com Gameday Central page (which goes live the morning of each match). The Fighting Irish then will welcome Rutgers to town at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday for another conference match that will be televised live to a national cable audience by ESPNU. Prior to that match, Notre Dame also will honor its senior players and student manager.
Tickets for all 2010 Notre Dame soccer matches are available by contacting the Murnane Family Ticket Office by phone (574-631-7356) or in person (Gate 9 in the Rosenthal Atrium at Purcell Pavilion) from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) weekdays. Fans also can purchase tickets on-line through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web page (www.UND.com/tickets) or by visiting the ticket windows at Alumni Stadium beginning one hour before the match.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's soccer program, join the Fighting Irish women's soccer news Twitter page (www.twitter.com/NDsoccernews) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the sidebar on the women's soccer page at UND.com.