COLUMBUS, Ohio – Just minutes after learning he garnered captain status for a second-consecutive season, Matt Gold found out he was a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, presented annually to the Division I senior with the most notable achievements in all four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree as a mechanical engineering major and a First Team All-Big Ten selection last season, Gold is a success story on and off the field. As a junior in 2009, he anchored the midfield in supporting a stellar Ohio State defense that allowed the fewest goals of any school in the Big Ten (16; 0.74 goals against average) and posted 10 shutouts. Gold played a key role in last season’s Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships, and also contributed to the Buckeyes’ 2007 appearance in the national championship game.

Off the field, he remains active in the community through the Athletes in Action program, as well as several team and athletics department-based projects. Most recently, Gold participated in the Operation Military Kids Hero Camp. Sponsored by the OSU Department of Athletics, Ohio State University Extension, its Ohio 4-H program and the Ohio National Guard, Gold and other student-athletes and coaches welcomed approximately 65 children from service families for a full schedule of sports activities.

By any definition, a CLASS act.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s 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.
The 2010 candidate class includes seven National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Americans from last season. Half of the 60 have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or better, while two have recorded perfect 4.00 GPAs. Seven of the candidates were recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America as 2009 academic All-Americans. Five student-athletes participated in the NCAA Men’s or Women’s College Cups® in 2009. And 20 of the 60 candidates are on the 2010 preseason watch list for the Hermann Trophy, awarded annually by the Missouri Athletic Club to the top male and female Division I soccer players in the country at the end of the season.

Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winners during the 2010 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Cup championships in early December.
Each of the 30 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 exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
“The nominations for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for soccer are traditionally strong in community service and academic excellence,” said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing. “This year’s candidate class reflects the strong sense of obligation these student-athletes have to their communities,  their universities and their teammates and we are proud to recognize them for their excellence.”

Name, Position, School
Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Midfielder, Akron
Jeff Attinella, Goalkeeper, South Florida
Phil Bannister, Forward, Loyola (Maryland)
Michael Boxall, Defender, UC Santa Barbara
Jeb Brovsky, Forward, Notre Dame
Andres Casais, Defender, Penn State
Matt Eliason, Forward, Northwestern
Akira Fitzgerald, Goalkeeper, Wake Forest
Matt Gold, Defender, Ohio State
Sam Hayden, Goalkeeper, UC Santa Barbara
Jason Herrick, Forward, Maryland
Ciint Irwin, Goalkeeper, Elon
Zach Johnson, Goalkeeper, West Virginia
Daniel Keat, Midfielder, Dartmouth
Ryan Kinne, Midfielder/Forward, Monmouth
Kyle Knotek, Defender, Northern Illinois
Dylan Leslie, Midfielder, Saint Mary’s (Calif.)
Robby Lynch, Midfielder/Defender, Evansville
Samson Malijani, Forward, Fairleigh Dickinson
Alex Mangan, Forward, DePaul
Jimmy Maurer, Goalkeeper, South Carolina
Ashley McInnes, Forward, Tulsa
Michael Perry, Defender, Denver
Indy Smith, Defender, UNC Wilmington
John Bayron Sosa, Midfielder, UMKC
Jeremy Vuolo, Goalkeeper, Syracuse
Josh Walburn, Defender/Midfielder, Princeton
Bobby Warshaw, Defender, Stanford
Tommy Watkins, Defender, Dayton
Alex Wood, Midfielder, Michigan