OVERLAND PARK, Kan. â€“ Two BIG EAST womenâ€™s soccer players, Notre Dame senior Lauren Fowlkes and St. Johnâ€™s senior Nicole Pasciolla, have been chosen among the 10 finalists for the 2010 Loweâ€™s Senior CLASS Award. The Senior CLASS Award is presented annually to the nationâ€™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).
Votes from coaches and media will be coupled with fan balloting to determine the recipient of the award, with this yearâ€™s honoree to be announced Dec. 3-5 during the NCAA Womenâ€™s College Cup in Cary, N.C.
The duo is aiming to follow in the footsteps of her former Fighting Irish star Kerri Hanks, who took home the 2008 Loweâ€™s Senior CLASS Award on the way to earning her second Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy.
Last year, Fowlkes 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 conferenceâ€™s offensive and defensive player-of-the-year awards during her career. A candidate for this yearâ€™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 Dameâ€™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 monthâ€™s Inn at Saint Maryâ€™s Classic and twice garnering a place on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.
Fowlkes is enrolled in Notre Dameâ€™s College of Science, where she is working towards her bachelorâ€™s degree in science-business and maintains a sharp 3.657 cumulative grade-point average.
Pasciolla is an economics major and has an overall GPA of 3.96 who is also taking classes to pursue a graduate degree in government and politics. A CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District first team honoree and a NSCAA/adidas Scholar All-East Region selection, Pasciolla was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society which requires candidates of senior status to rank in the upper 10.0 percent of their class upon graduation, or juniors to rank among the highest 4.0 percent of their class. Pasciolla was also a BIG EAST Academic All-Star for four years and has been on the Tobin College of Business Deanâ€™s List since fall of 2006.
In her years at St. Johnâ€™s, Pasciolla has shown a strong example of leadership and high character. She earned the highest honor a student at St. Johnâ€™s could earn when she was inducted into the Presidentâ€™s Society in 2009. The society consists of those students who combine scholarship, integrity and maturity with leadership skills demonstrated by their significant contribution to the extracurricular life of the University. Since the fall of 2009, she has served as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Additionally, she was awarded the St. Johnâ€™s University Student-Athlete Leadership Track II Certificate, the Founders Week Recognition Award and St. Johnâ€™s University Women in Sports Day Appreciation & Recognition Award.
Pasciolla has been a leader on campus for community service projects and spends her spare time participating in numerous activities. She has visited St. Nickâ€™s Menâ€™s Homeless Shelter, participated in the Athletics Blood Drive for three years and has been involved in Relay for Life from 2008-10. Pasciolla has also been a part of the St. Baldrickâ€™s/Locks of Love Fundraising Event, the Community Mayor Program, City Year Long Island City Local Schools Program, the Midnight Run and A Night In Solidarity with the Homeless.
The midfielder has played in 72 career games, starting in 71 of them. Pasciolla is a three-time All-BIG EAST team honoree. A leader on the field, she enjoyed one of her best seasons in 2009, leading the Red Storm to its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance and to its second-most wins in history with 13. For her efforts in helping STJ reach the BIG EAST Championship semifinals for the second time in history, she garnered All-BIG EAST Tournament team honors.