CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard senior
defender Lizzy Nichols is one of 30 of the nation’s best
women’s soccer players who were selected as the 2009
candidates of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for displaying
both on-field and off-field excellence.
Nichols, one of four Ivy League players selected, will serve as 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 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. From the list of 30 candidates, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award at the end of September. Those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote beginning Oct. 5 and concluding Nov. 13.
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 December 4-6.
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.
Photo of Lizzy Nichols courtesy DSPics.com.