ATLANTA, GEORGIA – Georgia State Panthers men’s soccer senior midfielder Matthew Fearnley was named to the Senior CLASS Award First Team on Thursday. The award is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men’s soccer.
This marks the second consecutive year a member of the Panthers has earned Senior CLASS Award First Team honors following in the footsteps of George Proctor last season.
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.
The finalists were chosen by a selection committee from the list of 30 men’s candidates and 30 women’s candidates announced earlier in the season. Fan votes were combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the top honors.
Fearnley was named to the 2020 All-Sun Belt First Team and was a 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team honoree last year, becoming the first player in program history to earn that recognition. He is currently on the ballot for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors once again.
This season Fearnley led the Panthers to the MAC Tournament Championship Game, two wins over ranked opponents, an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, and the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win, a 1-0 shutout at Charlotte.
He finished the season with three goals and an assist as the Panthers went 13-7 and were receiving votes in multiple polls throughout the season.
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.
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.

By bob

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

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