MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Senior defender Eric Schoenle of the West Virginia University men’s soccer team has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Senior CLASS award, the organization announced today.
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 - community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the 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 candidates announced in September. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote for Schoenle on the Senior CLASS Award website (seniorCLASSaward.com) through Nov. 19. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I men's head coaches' votes to determine the winner. Fans can vote one time per day.
The four-year team captain is in the midst of a spectacular senior season in which he leads the Mountaineers in goals (5), including one game winner, and points (10). Defensively, Schoenle has anchored a back line that has only let in 11 goals and helped to preserve five shutouts. Opponents are averaging just 7.5 shots per game and three shots on goal per game.
“Eric has developed into the premier center back in college soccer through hard work and consistency,” coach Marlon LeBlanc says. “He never felt slighted when overlooked by many as a recruit coming out of high school and it’s because of that ‘ever’steady’ personality that he has proven time and time again to be one of college soccer’s brightest stars.”
Schoenle was named to the Missouri Athletic Club (M.A.C.) Hermann Trophy Watch List prior to the season, given to the top player in college soccer. He also earned Preseason All-American First Team honors by Soccer America, College Soccer News and CollegeSportsMadness.
As a junior, Schoenle started all 20 matches at the center back position and was third on the team in points (9) and goals (3). He played the full 90 minutes and overtime in 18 matches. For his efforts, he was named to the NSCAA All-America Third Team, as well as NSCAA All-Northeast Region First Team and All-Big East Second Team.
The Yardley, Pa., native is an active participant in the community, including volunteering at the Monongalia Youth Soccer Association’s Award Ceremony, volunteering at the WVU United Youth Soccer Training and volunteering at local elementary school’s soccer practices. He also has participated in numerous reading programs at local elementary schools, while making frequent appearances at local soccer day camps.
In the classroom, Schoenle has chosen one of the most difficult majors at WVU in business administration and carries a 3.03 grade-point average. He will graduate in December 2012, completing his academic career in just three and a half years. Schoenle has been a member of the Dean’s List, a three-time Big East Academic All-Star and a three-time member of the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll.
The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announce during the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer College Cup, which will be held Dec. 7 and Dec. 9 in Hoover, Ala.
For more information on all the finalists and to vote for Eric Schoenle as the 2012 Senior CLASS Award recipient, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.