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Lopez, Woznuk Candidates for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

Sept. 25, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - University of Portland soccer stars Stephanie Lopez and Angie Woznuk have been named candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, presented annually in eight NCAA Division I sports to a senior student athlete who excels both on and off the field.

Twenty male and twenty female players have been selected as candidates for the 2007 soccer awards, based on personal qualities that define a complete student athlete. While the on-the-field performance during their collegiate soccer careers is a factor in determining candidates and the eventual winner, their personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are major areas of focus.

In women's soccer, the list of 2007 candidates includes players from 19 different schools and 12 conferences. Portland is the only school with more than one female candidate. Within the conferences, the Pac 10 and Big East lead the pack with three candidates each. On the men's side, 19 universities and 10 conferences are represented. UCLA is the only school with two male candidates and the ACC leads all conferences with four.

From the list of 20 candidates in each sport, a national media committee will select 10 finalists in both divisions in October for the 2007 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Those ten names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote beginning October 16 and concluding November 21. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award. Winners will be announced during the NCAA Soccer Championships, scheduled on December 7-9 in College Station, Texas for women and December 14-16 in Cary, N.C. for men.

"We are excited to get the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award started for the 2007-08 academic school year," said Bob Gfeller, Lowe's senior vice president of marketing and advertising. "With the addition of men's and women's soccer, the awards program is active on college campuses from fall through spring, recognizing student athletes for pursuing excellence in all facets of life. Each of these 2007 soccer candidates has demonstrated tremendous characteristics in the classroom and their community as well as on the playing field."

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched during the 2001-02 season in response to the trend of college basketball players leaving college early to turn professional. The award was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who continues to serve as Honorary Chairman, and has recognized winners in men's and women's basketball for six years.

Lowe's extended the award in the spring of 2007 to include four other NCAA sports: baseball, softball, men's hockey and men's lacrosse. With the addition of men's and women's soccer in fall 2007, a total of eight sports are now included in the awards program.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student athletes in four areas: classroom, community, character and competition. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards that a senior season can bring. For more information, visit www.seniorclassaward.com.