Toney, Casais named Lowe's Senior CLASS Award nominees

Overland Park, Kan. — Two Penn State senior soccer student-athletes were named Lowe's Senior CLASS Award candidates on Wednesday. Women's soccer forward Danielle Toney (Northville, Mich.) and men's soccer defender Andres Casais (Caracas, Venezuela) are Penn State's nominees for the award, which recognizes four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

Toney enters the 2010 season as one of the best scoring threats in the Big Ten. She was second in the conference a year ago in goals (13) and points (32), second only to 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award nominee Katie Schoepfer.

Her sparkling performance last season earned her All-Big Ten and NSCAA All-Great Lakes First Team honors. Additionally, Toney is an excellent student as evidenced by her two trips to the Academic All-Big Ten team (2008, 2009). She will graduate in May with a business-marketing degree.

Casais was a mainstay on the Penn State defense in 2009, standing as one of three Nittany Lions and the only defender to start all 22 games. Returning from a broken orbital bone that cost him seven games in 2008, he proved his toughness and durability by serving as the team leader in minutes played.

Patrolling the back line from his central defense position, Casais played a major role in securing nine shutouts a year ago. For his standout season, he was selected First Team All-Big Ten, becoming Penn State's first defender to earn the conference honor since Ben Dawson in 2001, and Third Team NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region. Casais, a team co-captain, will be the centerpiece of a Penn State back line that returns all four starters and two significant contributors for the 2010 season.

Also an excellent student, Casais, an Energy, Business, and Finance major, has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors twice and was an Academic All-America candidate in 2009.

This is the second straight year Penn State has a representative on both the men's and women's soccer lists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Jason Yeisley won top honors on the men's side, while Schoepfer was a candidate on the initial list released in August.

The Nittany Lion women's soccer team opens its season on Friday at West Virginia. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m., while the men's team kicks off exhibition play on Saturday with a 1:00 p.m. tilt against Hartwick.

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Last Updated August 20, 2010