ATLANTA, GEORGIA—Georgia State Panthers men’s soccer senior Matthew Fearnley is one of the 30 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award on Friday.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior or graduate student 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.
Fearnley was named to the 2020 All-Sun Belt First Team and was a 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team honoree, becoming the first player in program history to earn that recognition. Playing in a COVID-19 shortened 2020 season, Fearnley tied for the team lead with five goals in just 12 matches. He took a team-high 31 shots, including 19 shots on goal. His five goals were tied for tops in the Sun Belt Conference and ranked No. 4 in the NCAA during the fall.
Fearnley was also honored by the United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region Team last year and was named to the 2020 Sun Belt All-Tournament Team.
This year Fearnley has scored a pair of goals in Georgia State’s first nine games. He has taken a team-high 19 shots, including nine shots on goal. Fearnley has helped the Panthers to a 7-2 record this year which is tied for the fourth-best start in program history.
In the classroom, Fearnley also earned 2020 United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American and All-Region recognition. He garnered President’s List recognition last spring after earning Dean’s List recognition last fall. He was also named to the 2020 spring semester President’s List and has multiple other Dean’s List honors.
Fearnley is one of the leaders of the team both on and off the pitch. On the field, his teammates rely on him to be a leader and he takes that very seriously. As good as he is on the field, Fearnley will be the first to go help pick up a teammate if they are down or celebrate with them when they do something great. Off the field, he is also one of the leaders in the classroom with a 3.84 GPA.
Fearnley and his teammates have participated in multiple community service events at Georgia State. Most recently, he and his teammates helped clean up Oakland Park Cemetery right down the street from the Panthers’ home facility.
Last year, George Proctor earned Senior CLASS Award First Team recognition as one of the top five seniors in the country.
The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2021 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Cup® championships in December.


By bob

A veteran soccer journalist who is an avid fan of Atlanta United and Lionel Messi.