Lauren Smedley ’13 (Hamilton, N.J.) has been selected as one of 30 candidates 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.
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.
Each of the last three summers, Smedley, a neuroscience major, has provided respite care through Caring With Compassion in Red Bank, N.J., where she is a personal caregiver for young adults and children with autism. During the school year, she has participated in the mentoring program at Easton’s alternative school, in which she aids middle school children in their schoolwork and helps mentor children in after-school games and sports. Since arriving at Lafayette, Smedley has also served on Lafayette’s student-athlete advisory committee, acting as a liaison between her teammates and the NCAA while also organizing charitable services.
This past year, Smedley helped organize and run a 5K run to benefit the Lauren’s First and Goal foundation, which raises money to fund pediatric brain tumor research. Over the last five years, she has been a camp counselor for various sports organizations such as Peak Performance Academy, The Peddie School, and Lafayette soccer.
“Lauren’s character is a big part of her success,” says soccer head coach Mick Statham. “She plays the game without an ACL and has battled through serious injury to become the area’s top goalkeeper. All top players have one thing in common, humility. The respect that Lauren garners from her teammates is unique as it pays tribute to her enormous talent and the humble way she presents herself every day. She has also become a force in the classroom, meeting Lafayette’s academic demands as a dean’s list student and a Patriot League Honor Roll selection.”
Smedley carries a 3.27 overall GPA, and has been named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll each of the last two years. She earned a 3.71 GPA in spring 2012 and was named to the dean’s list. This fall, she is serving as a teaching assistant in the Neuroanatomy course taught by James Dearworth, associate professor of biology.
Following graduation, Smedley aspires to attend chiropractic school to obtain a doctorate degree.
“I love helping people and am extremely interested in the nervous system, making chiropractics a perfect fit for me,” Smedley says. “What you eat, how you move, and how you think are critical elements of health and overall wellness, and chiropractics will give me the opportunity to help people improve their lives.”
Smedley was a 2011 NCAA Women’s Division I All-Mid-Atlantic First Team selection and was the Patriot League’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2010 and 2011. She has posted consecutive seasons with eight shutouts and ranks seventh in Patriot League history with 24. In 2011, Smedley’s .887 save percentage ranked 17th nationally, and she finished 41st in the country in goals-against average (0.66). Smedley also led the league in saves, turning away 86 shots while playing every minute in goal.
She led Lafayette to a 9-5-2 overall record last season. Additionally, the Leopards enjoyed a 6-0-0 home record, which has been extended to an 8-0-0 mark through Lafayette’s first two home matches of 2012. She is Lafayette’s all-time leader in games started and minutes played for goalkeepers and ranks second on the all-time list in wins, saves, and games played.
Each of the 30 candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches, and fans who will select one male candidate and one female candidate who best exemplify excellence in the four areas of distinction.
The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2012 NCAA Women’s College Cup championships, which take place Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 in San Diego, Calif.