Charlotte, NC - Charlotte 49ers men's soccer senior midfielder Donnie Smith was selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award for Men's Soccer.

Last season, Smith played an integral role in helping the 49ers reach the College Cup Championship game. For his efforts, he was named to the College Cup All-Tournament team. He also earned second-team All-Atlantic 10 honors last season and first-team All-Atlantic 10 honors in 2010. He has earned National Team of the Week honors several times in his career with the 49ers.

This season, Smith is tied for second on the team with two goals. He scored a dramatic game-winning goal in the 49ers 3-2 double overtime victory over South Carolina, September 12. He also scored a goal in 49ers 1-1 double overtime tied with UAB, August 31.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS award, created in 2001, 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.  Thirty male and 30 female soccer players have been selected as candidates for the 2012 soccer awards, based on personal qualities that define a complete athlete, according to Lowe's. While the on-the-field performance during their collegiate soccer careers is a factor in determining candidates and the eventual winner, their personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are major areas of focus.

From the list of 30 candidates, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award in early October. Those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award. The winner will be announced during the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's College Cup in Hoover, Ala.

Smith and the rest of the 49ers nationally-ranked men's soccer team returns to action when they play Elon on the road, Saturday, September 22 at 7 pm.