Six Big Ten men's and women's soccer players were selected as finalists for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, it was announced on Wednesday. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award recognizes student-athletes who are successful both on and off the field, excelling in community, classroom, character and competition. The Big Ten's men's soccer honorees included Indiana's A.J. Corrado, Michigan State's Kevin Cope and Northwestern's Chris Ritter. On the women's side, Illinois' Vanessa DiBernardo, Michigan's Holly Hein and Penn State's Maya Hayes were named 2013 Senior CLASS Award finalists.
Cope is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and collected second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2012. Corrado was a first-team All-Big Ten pick last season and also received Academic All-Big Ten plaudits. Ritter was tabbed the Big Ten Defender of the Year in 2012, while also being named first-team All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten.
DiBernardo was named first-team All-Big Ten in each of the past two seasons, and was the 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Hayes has collected Big Ten Forward of the Year and received first-team All-Big Ten honors in each of the past two seasons. Hein is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, and was named first-team All-Big Ten in 2012.
The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Men's and Women's College Cup Championships in December. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner. To vote for a men's and women's candidate, click here.