Loyola Soccer Standouts Named Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Candidates

Aug. 26, 2009

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Two Loyola soccer standouts were named candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Awards today, marking the first time in school history that Loyola student-athletes have been up for the national awards.

Graduate student Theresa Ferraina (Long Branch, N.J.) represents the women's soccer team, and senior Tennant McVea (Belfast, Northern Ireland) was named from the men's soccer side.

"This is an extraordinary recognition of the accomplishments Theresa and Tennant have had both on and off the soccer field," Loyola Director of Athletics Joe Boylan said. "They are examples for all student-athletes by personifying their outstanding characteristics."

Each were one of 30 student-athletes nationwide selected as candidates for their excellence both on and off the field.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in SchoolTM, 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.

The program started in 2001 for men's basketball and has since expanded to recognize student-athletes in nine NCAA Division I sports. This is the third year of the award for both men's and women's soccer.

Ferraina and McVea were both All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference First Team honorees a year ago and will serve as team captains for their teams this season.

Theresa Ferraina tied the school's single-season assist record last year and was an All-MAAC performer.

Ferraina was an ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team honoree last season while posting a perfect 4.0 grade point average for her undergraduate career. She graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in business and is playing her final year of eligibility as a graduate student at Loyola.

Last season, while earning All-MAAC First Team laurels, Ferraina led the Greyhounds in scoring with nine goals and eight assists for 26 total points. Her eight assists led the conference and tied the single-season school record. With 18 goals, 13 assists and 49 points in her career thus far, she ranks in the school's top 10 in each category. Last Sunday, she helped Loyola win its season-opener, assisting on the Greyhounds' lone goal in a 1-0 victory over host Mount St. Mary's.

"This is very exciting for Theresa and Tennant, and for Loyola, as well," Loyola Head Women's Soccer Coach Katherine Vettori said. "Theresa's story is remarkable after going from a walk-on to the team after her freshman year to being an all-conference player and one of the top scorers in the league. She has a tremendous work ethic and leadership skills, and she inspires everyone around her."

McVea became the first Loyola men's soccer player to earn All-America First Team honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas since 1993 when he achieved the feat last season. He was tabbed the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season and earned All-MAAC First Team honors, too.

In addition to his All-America recognition, McVea was an All-North Atlantic Region First Team member while captaining a defense that posted 12 shutouts during the season, helping the Greyhounds reach the NCAA College Cup for the second year in a row. His leadership helped Loyola finish tops in the MAAC and 14th in the country in goals against average (0.66).

Earlier this month, McVea was one of three Loyola men's soccer players - joining senior forward Jamie Darvill and junior forward Phil Bannister - to be named to the 2009 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List. He was also tabbed a preseason All-American by College Soccer News.

"Congratulatins to Tennant and Theresa for this wonderful recognition," Loyola Head Men's Soccer Coach Mark Mettrick said. "Tennant's contributions to Loyola Men's Soccer have been outstanding. He shows great leadership on and off the field, and he is a vital part of the success we've had the last two years. Tennant has been instrumental in helping a program go from an under-.500 team (during his freshman season) to one that is 37-5-2 over the last two years."

Ferraina and McVea are amongst 30 candidates for their respective awards, a list that will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular-season. Those 10 names for men's and women's soccer will be played on the official ballot that will be distributed nationwide to media, coaches and fans, who will select one male and one female candidate who best exemplify excellence in four Cs of classroom, character, community and competition.

McVea and the 18th-ranked men's soccer team open their 2009 schedule on Tuesday, September 1, with a 5 p.m. home match against Villanova. Ferraina and the women's soccer side play three more road matches before their home opener on Friday, September 4, at 5 p.m. versus Boston University.

Click here to view the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award official website.