Oct. 6, 2010
OVERLAND PARK, KS - Ten NCAA men's soccer student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as finalists today for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and included in the elite group is UCSB senior goalkeeper Sam Hayden.
Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to determine the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote HERE once a day through Nov. 14. Fan votes will be combined with media and coaches votes to determine the winner.
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 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.
Hayden, the Gauchos' starting goalkeeper, is in his second year at UCSB after transferring from Yavapai College. He was named the 2009 Big West Goalkeeper of the Year, First Team All-Big West, Second Team All-Far West Region and the LA Soccer News Men's Player of the Year after recording a school and conference record 16 shutouts last season.
This year he has already been honored twice with Big West Defensive Player of the Week honors and College Soccer News Team of the Week accolades.
Hayden has also volunteered his time to give back to the local soccer community, helping organize the Santa Barbara Soccer Camps and the Santa Barbara Fiesta Tournament. Along with the rest of his teammates and the UCSB women's soccer team, he helped run AYSO practice sessions during the month of September. The programs conducted around 100 of these sessions and volunteered 150 hours of their time.
He has also helped build homes in both Mexico and Tennessee in affiliation with his hometown church in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He is a geography major at UCSB.
To read more about Hayden's volunteer work, click here.
The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 men's candidates that were announced in August. Senior defender Michael Boxall had also been named a candidate along with Hayden.
Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award winners during the 2010 NCAA Men's College Cup, which will take place Dec. 10 and 12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.
Hayden is the first UCSB athlete to make the list of finalists for a Lowe's Senior CLASS award. Boxall was honored as a top-30 candidate as was women's basketball player Jordan Franey during the 2009-10 season. Senior women's volleyball player Dana Vargas is currently a candidate for the award and will find out if she is a finalist later this month.