by Grant Dovey for MSNsportsNET.com
August 18, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University men’s soccer goalkeeper Zach Johnson is among 30 of the nation’s best men’s soccer players who were selected as the 2010 candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for displaying on and off the field excellence.
“Zach is one of the best goalkeepers in the country and academically he is outstanding in an unbelievably tough engineering major,” coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “He’s the captain of this team and a pretty influential member of the community. Being recognized on this list is a great achievement and certainly deserved praise for a young man who has done very well in his collegiate career.”
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 – classroom, character, community and competition. The 30 candidates 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 the winner.
Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award winner during the 2010 NCAA Men’s College Cup championship in early December.
Johnson, an industrial engineer major, has a cumulative GPA of 3.19 and has been a two-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star and a four-time Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll member.
“This award is something that is based on more than just soccer performance and it combines a bunch of different aspects,” Johnson said. “I’m happy to be considered for this award.”
A native of Lumberton, N.J., Johnson made the all-BIG EAST second team last season after posting the eighth-best goals against average (0.61) in the nation. He was also honored on the NSCAA all-Northeast Region third team. As a sophomore Johnson made first-team all-BIG EAST and earned BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year honors. He enters the season with 31 career shutouts.
In the community, Johnson has participated in numerous community services activities, including speaking to kids at the WVU Healthy Kids Camp, visiting with patients at HEALTHSOUTH, MountainView 5k Walk Run “Cranium Crawl” and visiting with patients in the Children’s Rehabilitation Physical Therapy Unity at Mountainview Rehabilitation Hospital.
Among the 30 candidates are five BIG EAST student-athletes and the list is represented with six 2010 opponents including – Jeff Attinella (USF), Jeb Brovsky (Notre Dame), Clint Irwin (Elon), Ryan Kinne (Monmouth), Alex Mangan (DePaul) and Indy Smith (UNC Wilmington).
The WVU men’s soccer team will travel to Michigan on Saturday, Aug. 21, for an exhibition with the Michigan before returning home for the final exhibition on Wednesday, Aug. 25, against Robert Morris.
The regular season opens up with the Save Face WVU Classic presented by Jerseys Subs with the Mountaineers taking on No. 9 Monmouth on Sept. 3 and No. 17 UNC Wilmington on Sept. 5.