Katherine Sheeleigh Named a Finalist for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

Katherine Sheeleigh Named a Finalist for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

Senior forward Katherine Sheeleigh ranks 12th in the nation with 2.0 points per game (photo courtesy of Gil Talbot).

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Katherine Sheeleigh's Bio on Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Site

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior forward Katherine Sheeleigh of the Harvard women's soccer team has been honored as one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for displaying both on-field and off-field excellence.

The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 women's candidates that were announced in August. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to determine the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote via the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award website through November 14. Fan votes will be combined with media and coaches votes to determine the winner. The winner will be announced at the Women's College Cup in December.

"The finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in men's and women's soccer are in the midst of great final seasons," said Tom Lamb, Lowe's senior vice president of marketing. "They are committed to finishing their collegiate careers in a strong way both on the field and in the classroom, and we are excited for their successes as they wrap up outstanding seasons."

Sheeleigh, a native of New Vernon, N.J., is the only Ivy League player among the finalists.  One of the most decorated players in recent Harvard women's soccer history, Sheeleigh is a three-time All-Ivy League honoree, having been named to the first team her first three years in Cambridge.  This fall, Sheeleigh ranks 12th in the nation with 2.0 points per game and stands 35th with 0.71 goals-per contest. She is tied for the team lead with five goals and paces the squad with 14 points in only seven games.  Sheeleigh also ranked sixth in school history with 27 goals and 68 points.

The Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2007, she has been tabbed to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America all-region team three times, as well as the New England Women's Intercollegiate Soccer Association All-New England team once.  She has helped Harvard win back-to-back Ivy League titles and reach the NCAA tournament in 2008 and 2009.

As a junior, she led Harvard in scoring with 21 points on eight goals and five assists, pacing the squad with four game-winning tallies.  In 2008, Sheeleigh was second on the Crimson with six goals and 17 points and was the team's leading scorer as a freshman in 2007 with eight goals and 16 points.  Sheeleigh enters her senior season ranked tied for seventh in program history with 22 goals and stands ninth with 54 points.

In the classroom, Sheeleigh is an economics concentrator and will graduate in May 2010.  In 2009, she was named to the Academic All-Ivy League team, as well as the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District third team. She has decided to pursue a career in physical therapy and has volunteered as an aide at JAG Physical Therapy in New Jersey during the summer of 2009 and 2010.

A co-captain of the Crimson this upcoming fall, Sheeleigh has overcome several injuries during her career at Harvard, while still maintaining an all-conference level of play on the field. During the winter of her freshman year, she suffered a stress fracture in her left ankle, causing her to miss all of the spring season.  She also tore her hamstring as a junior, greatly impacting her ability to play in the last few regular season games, as well as the first round of the NCAA tournament. In addition, Sheeleigh was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant and was unable to move the left side of her body.  She went through intense physical therapy, which is why she has such a strong desire to pursue a career in the physical therapy field, for the first seven years of her life.  Sheeleigh also suffered a bout with dyslexia, but has made huge improvements in both cases, not letting either disease impact her academic or athletic careers.

In January 2010, Sheeleigh traveled to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, working in a volunteer internship with the Ministry of Education.  She worked with high school students, preparing them for the rigors of higher education abroad, including preparation for a test of English as a foreign language.  Working in the pioneering year of the College Access Program in this developing nation, Sheeleigh tailored test-taking strategies for students and organized weekly college preparation meetings and one-on-one advising conversations with students at the largest public high school in the Marshall Islands.

Sheeleigh also worked as a teaching assistant for a class of seniors at Marshall Islands High School, creating ESL-specific lesson plans and further developing her teaching skills in a multi-leveled classroom.  She assessed student progress, while employing classroom management practices and incorporating diverse teaching strategies using limited resources. In addition, she is very active as a volunteer for the Children's Tumor Foundation.  In February 2010, she volunteered in Daytona, Fla., for the neurofibromatosis event "Racing4Research," and during the summer of 2010, volunteered at "NF Camp" as a counselor at Camp Kostopoulos in Utah.

Finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award:
Callan Elswick, Forward, Davidson
Lauren Fowlkes, Defender/Midfielder, Notre Dame
Ali Hawkins, Midfielder, North Carolina
Molly Kinsella, Forward, Vanderbilt
Shay Mannino, Goalkeeper, Central Michigan
Nicole Pasciolla, Midfielder, St. John's
Christen Press, Forward, Stanford
Katherine Sheeleigh, Forward, Harvard
Rachel Shipley, Midfielder, Texas A&M
Jessica Tsao, Defender, Portland