Nichols Named Finalist for Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award

Nichols Named Finalist for Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award

Pictured: Harvard co-captain Lizzy Nichols is a finalist for the prestigious Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
Photo courtesy: Dave Silverman

Vote Lizzy Nichols for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award!

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard senior defender Lizzy Nichols is one of 10 of the nation’s best women’s soccer players who were selected as the 2009 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for displaying both on-field and off-field excellence.

Nichols, one of two Ivy League players selected, is a co-captain of the Crimson this fall. A native of Princeton, N.J., she is a three-time All-Ivy League honoree, including a two-time first-team selection, has garnered Soccer Buzz All-Northeast Region honors twice and received NSCAA All-Northeast Region distinction in 2007.

Nichols has scored two goals this season, including the game-winning score on a penalty kick in Harvard’s 3-2 victory over Penn Sept. 26. She currently ranks second on the Crimson in scoring with five points this fall. Nichols tallied two goals last season as a junior, including the game winner on a penalty kick at 109:51 in Harvard's 2-1 double-overtime victory over Columbia Nov. 8. The win clinched the Ivy League title for the Crimson, the program's first since 1999, and clinched Harvard’s automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

A double concentrator in history and literature and history of art and architecture, Nichols attended Columbia’s Paris program in art and urban studies last year and received a Weatherhead grant for thesis research in Morocco and Paris during the summer of 2009. She was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team honoree a year ago and is a two-time Academic All-Ivy League choice.

In the community, Nichols is a member of a board of a Harvard student-run non-profit organization called Circle of Women, which is committed to promoting women’s education in the developing world. One project, entitled “Project Wonkhai,” involved the construction of a school for girls in Wardak, Afghanistan, which required raising $120,000 and working with local collaborators to oversee construction. After the building was completed, Nichols, the web officer of the organization, helped raise money for school supplies, teacher training programs and vocational training.

She has also spent time volunteering with her teammates at a local pre-school, worked with Habitat for Humanity, organized soccer clinics for local children and participated in the Harvard Athletics Bench Press for Cancer. She is currently helping the organization of the Goals4Leaders program, a project that will help raise funds for Coaches across Continents, a non-profit organization that uses the game of soccer to teach life and leadership skills in the developing world.

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 – classroom, character, community and competition. 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 finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 men’s candidates and 30 women’s candidates that were announced in August.

Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the winner. Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award winners during the 2009 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Cup championships in early December.

These 10 finalists will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award soccer ballot for a nationwide vote beginning Oct. 5 and concluding Nov. 13. Fan balloting will be available on the award’s official Web site, http://www.seniorCLASSaward.com, as well as through text messaging. Fans can text GOAL to 74567 to vote for women’s finalists. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of classroom, character, community and competition. The winner will be announced during the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's College Cup in College Station, Texas, scheduled for Dec. 4-6.

“We commend these student-athletes for their outstanding achievements on and off the field,” said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing. “Lowe’s is proud of its affiliation with the NCAA and college athletics, and we want to honor these competitors who have displayed a commitment to character, community and the classroom in addition to recognizing their accomplishments on the soccer field.”

This marks the third year for the men’s and women’s soccer division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, and more than 175 student-athletes were nominated this year.