Sept. 18, 2012
Montana senior Lauren Costa, a defender on the Griz soccer team, is one of 30 student-athletes nationwide on the initial list of candidates for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award for collegiate women's soccer. The CLASS Award is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School.
The award judges nominees for excellence in the areas of community, classroom, character and competition.
Costa, who has a 3.71 GPA as an accounting major, is a three-time Academic All-Big Sky Conference selection who has earned a pair of academic scholarships through UM's School of Business Administration: the Junkermier, Clark, Campanella, Stevens P.C. CPA Scholarship and the David and Goldie Enger School of Business Administration Athletic Scholarship.
She has also received Department of Athletics scholarships following her freshman, sophomore and junior years: the Ronald E. and Julia Blake Memorial Scholarship (2010-11), the Grizzly Scholarship Association License Plate Scholarship (2011-12) and the Frank W. Milburn Scholarship (2012-13).
Costa, of Missoula, is on schedule to graduate in May 2013.
Playing as the team's central defender from her first collegiate match, Costa has been voted by her teammates as the team's Defensive Player of the Year each of her first three seasons at Montana.
She earned second-team All-Big Sky Conference honors as a freshman and first-team accolades as a junior last fall when she led the Grizzlies to the Big Sky tournament title and their first NCAA tournament since 2000.
Costa, who has missed just three matches in her career, has 64 starts in 64 career matches played. She has one career goal and four assists.
In the community, Costa has worked on building projects for Habitat for Humanity, has volunteered at the Missoula YMCA at its annual Winter Sports Camp and has been one of the lead volunteers for the Griz soccer team's aid station at the Missoula Marathon.
Costa is the only player from the Big Sky Conference to make the 2012 Senior CLASS Award list.
"A maxim you often hear about character is that it can be described as what you do and how you are when nobody's watching," UM coach Mark Plakorus says when asked about his co-captain. "Lauren is the type of person that what you see is what you get at all times, and that's reassuring as a coach.
"She is always doing the right thing, so I know I never have to worry about her. I couldn't ask for a better leader. She's invested in the program and committed to helping her teammates be successful, so everyone on the team looks up to her.
"She's the type of person you want all your players to be like, whether it's in training, in the classroom or out in the community. She's an outstanding representative of our program and our university."
The list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season. The 10 student-athletes on the final ballot will voted on by a national panel.
Senior CLASS Award Candidates
Caitlin Alves, Hartford
Alex Balcer, Long Beach State
Mallory Baum, Southern Methodist
Bailey Brandon, Central Michigan
Amber Brooks, North Carolina
Tara Campbell, Duke
Allie Chandler, Arkansas
Anina Cicerone, Western Michigan
Lauren Costa, Montana
Abi Cottam, Rider
Adrianna Franch, Oklahoma State
Natalia Gaitan, Toledo
Cynthia Jacobo, Cal State Northridge
Tishia Jewell, Central Florida
Scout Libke, Oregon
Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall, Brigham Young
Kylie Louw, Stephen F. Austin State
Ally Miller, Marquette
Caroline Miller, Virginia
Mariah Nogueira, Stanford
Natalie Norris, Utah State
Mallory Schaffer, William and Mary
Sarah Schaidle, Charleston
Nichole Schiro, Loyola (Maryland)
Lauren Smedley, Lafayette
Clare Stachel, Michigan
Erika Tymrak, Florida
Beth West, Texas A&M
Colleen Williams, Dayton
Kathryn Williamson, Florida
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