Charlotte’s Elliot Panicco Wins 2019 Senior CLASS Award® for Men’s Soccer

December 12, 2019

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (December 12, 2019) – Charlotte goalkeeper Elliot Panicco has been selected in nationwide balloting as the 2019 Senior CLASS Award® winner in NCAA® Division I men’s soccer.

The award, chosen by a vote of Division I men’s soccer coaches, national soccer media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men’s soccer. In order 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: classroom, community, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School , the Senior CLASS Award® was inspired by Duke men’s basketball player Shane Battier and his decision to forego the NBA to remain in school all four years. Established in 2001, the award is presented in 10 NCAA sports and focuses on the total student-athlete, encouraging students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

“This award means a lot to me; at Charlotte we strive to hold high the Gold Standard,” said Panicco, the first student-athlete from Charlotte to be named the overall winner of a Senior CLASS Award. “I have grown a lot as an individual during my time at Charlotte. I am really thankful for the coaching staff and all of my teammates who helped form me into the man that I am today. Things that the coaching staff has instilled in us as a team can definitely translate to the real world. Whether it is playing professional soccer or working a 9-to-5 job, I will be prepared with the willingness to work hard and persevere. Whatever I do, I will use the skills that I learned at Charlotte.”

Named the Conference USA Goalkeeper of the Year after anchoring one of the nation’s top defenses, Panicco finished his career as one of the best goalkeepers in Charlotte history, securing program records for shutouts (35) and goals against average (0.75). This season he earned a slew of honors including being voted first-team United Soccer Coaches Association All-Southeast Region for the second time and also being named first-team All-Conference USA and earning a conference Golden Glove Award, both for the third time in his illustrious career.

Equally as impressive in the classroom, Panicco has made the dean’s list three times and the athletic director’s list six times during his time at Charlotte.

“We are very proud of Elliot for receiving this prestigious award,” said Head Coach Kevin Langan, who has guided the 49ers to the NCAA Tournament in seven out of his eight seasons at the helm. “Since his first day on campus, Elliot has displayed a wonderful attitude to develop as a soccer player, a great commitment to his studies and a selfless approach to giving back to the community. He epitomizes what it means to be a Charlotte 49ers soccer player. For this to be recognized on a national stage fills us all with great pride.”

Beyond the areas of competition and classroom, Panicco has maintained a high level of personal character throughout his college career. Prioritizing community service and outreach, Panicco has worked with the Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church high school youth group, helped with a Miracle Network Dance Marathon and helped with numerous soccer clinics for youth in the Charlotte area during his career.

“Elliot Panicco has had an impressive four-year college career, both on and off the field,” said Senior CLASS Award Executive Director Erik Miner. “The public has seen his athletic career, but the fact that he’s been one of the best goalkeepers in the nation while also succeeding in the classroom, reaching out to the community and maintaining positive character makes him even more impressive. We offer our congratulations to Elliot, his team and the entire university.”
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Men’s Soccer 2019 Winner

Name Position School
Elliot Panicco Goalkeeper Charlotte

First Team

Name Position School
Tanner Beason Defender Stanford
Anders Engebretsen Forward Saint Mary's College
Cal Jennings Forward University of Central Florida
Mauricio Pineda Midfielder/Defender North Carolina

Second Team

Name Position School
Gideon Betz Defender Campbell University
Drake Callender Goalkeeper California
Dayonn Harris Forward UConn
Garrett McLaughlin Forward Southern Methodist University
Jack Skahan North Carolina