West Virginia University women's soccer forward Frances Silva has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award.
The award recognizes student-athletes that have excelled in four areas - classroom, character, community and competition.
"When you have an athlete represent our university and our women's soccer program with an award that recognizes excellence in the classroom and on the field, the only thing that comes to mind is how proud I am," says coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "It is a huge reflection of Frances' character, excelling both in the classroom and on the playing field. All her hard work has paid off, and it is a tremendous award for her to be nominated for."
Silva graduated in three years with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism, while maintaining a 3.97 cumulative grade point average. In 2013, she received the Jerry P. Wilkins Scholarship and was the Dr. Gerald Lage award winner, the highest academic honor given by the Big 12 Conference. Silva is currently a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in sport management.
In the community, Silva has been involved in numerous youth camps and clinics to help teach the game of soccer. She also has been active, along with her teammates, in raising money to fund research for a cure for breast cancer. The women's soccer program has raised over $100,000 for the cause.
Silva has started 62 matches over her career at WVU. Entering 2013, she was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Last year, Silva led the Mountaineers with 11 goals and was second on the team with 24 points. She was an All-Big 12 Second Team selection and received numerous player of the week accolades. While still in the Big East, Silva was named to the All-Big East Second Team as a sophomore and the All-Rookie Team as a freshman.
In addition to Silva, Kat Ludlow of Baylor represents the Big 12.
To be eligible for the Senior CLASS Award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in all four areas of excellence.
Midway through the regular season, the field of 30 will be narrowed down to 10 finalists. The final ballot will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans.