Utah State soccer: Natalie Norris named Senior CLASS Award finalist

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Oct. 18 2012 11:36 a.m. MDT

Utah State senior defender Natalie Norris was one of 10 NCAA women’s soccer student-athletes, who excel on and off the field, that were selected as finalists for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate soccer.

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.

The Aggie senior is one of only two players from the Beehive State to be a candidate for the award along with BYU’s Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall. Norris is also the only player from the Western Athletic Conference to be named a finalist.

Norris is one in a line of USU players to be nominated for this award, including Lindsey Smart in 2009 and Chandra Salmon-Christensen in 2011. However, the current Aggie senior is the first Utah State player to be named a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award.

The defender has started every match of her four-year career at Utah State. Norris has allowed only 10 goals this season in 17 matches. She also has scored three goals for the Aggies this year for six total points.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the 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.

The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 men’s candidates and 30 women’s candidates announced in September. Fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Aggie fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through November 19. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. Fans can also vote through the Utah State soccer Facebook page.

The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2012 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Cup Championships. The Women’s College Cup will take place November 30 and December 2 in San Diego, while the Men’s College Cup will take place December 7 and 9 in Hoover, Ala.

The Aggies are currently in first the WAC with a 9-2-6 overall and 4-0-2 in conference play. USU has two more regular-season matches left this season. On Friday, Oct. 29, Utah State will take on WAC rival San Jose State at 2 p.m. at Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field.

As always, admission to all Utah State soccer matches is free.

Women’s Soccer Finalists: Amber Brooks, North Carolina; Tara Campbell, Duke; Adrianna AD Franch, Oklahoma State; Tishia Jewell, UCF; Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall, Brigham Young; Ally Miller, Marquette; Mariah Nogueira, Stanford; Natalie Norris, Utah State; Mallory Schaffer, William; and Mary Colleen Williams, Dayton

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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