Oct. 6, 2010
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Loyola University Maryland senior forward Phil Bannister (Wallsend, England/Monkseaton) was named a finalist in men's soccer for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, the organization announced on Wednesday. Bannister is one of 10 Division I finalists in the sport and marks the second straight Loyola men's soccer player to advance to the finalist stage.
"Phil is an excellent young man and a credit to our program and Loyola University Maryland," Head Coach Mark Mettrick said. "He has excelled on the field and in the classroom to provide a great example to his teammates and he's a great ambassador of our program."
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.
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.
Bannister has scored seven goals while starting seven games for Loyola this season, ranking him second in NCAA Division I with a one goal per game average. The MAAC Preseason Player of the Year has collected two consecutive MAAC Offensive Player of the Week awards while leading the Greyhounds with seven goals, 15 points, 36 shots and 17 shots on goal this season.
This year has seen Bannister climb the Loyola record books with his high offensive production. The senior captain has moved to ninth on the Loyola career goals list (37) and seventh on the Loyola career points list (103). Bannister also currently shares the all-time Loyola assists record, with 29.
In addition to his stellar work on the field and in the classroom, Bannister also makes positive contributions away from campus. Bannister, a two-time MAAC All-Academic Team honoree and a 2008 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American, also participates in community outreach at Beans and Bread, a food shelter for local homeless men and women. He also helped Baltimore residents last year after severe snowstorms by shoveling driveways and assisting with clean-up.
Last year, Bannister led Division I in assists while earning spots on the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All -District II First Team, the All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Second Team, MAAC All-Academic Team and MAAC Tournament team.
Defender Tennant McVea reached the finalist stage for the award last year.
The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 men's candidates and 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. Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award winners during the 2010 NCAA Men's and Women's College Cup championships in early December.