Senior CLASS Finalist
STANFORD, Calif. - Senior defender Naomi Girma was selected as a finalist for the 2021 Senior CLASS Award, as announced Thursday.
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.
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.
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. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner, and fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through November 22. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner.
The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2021 NCAA Men's and Women's College Cup® championships in December.
The native of San Jose, Calif. was previously named one of 59 NCAA Women's Division I college soccer players in the running for the 2021 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List - the nation's highest individual honor recognizing the nation's National Player of the Year.
Girma, the 2019 Pac-12 Defender of the Year, missed the 2020-21 season due to injury. The 2020 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year was a 2019 All-America first team selection and earned College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player honors after helping to guide Stanford to the national title in 2019.
So far this year, Girma has started all 16 matches for the Cardinal while anchoring a Stanford defense that has posted nine shutouts and allowed just 11 goals (.69 goals per game). The three-time team captain also has three goals to her name in 2021 – netting goals against then-No. 5 Duke, Oregon and Washington State. For her efforts, she has been awarded Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week twice this season.
Off the pitch, Girma volunteers with Soccer Without Borders, whose mission is to use soccer as a vehicle for positive change. They provide under-served youth with a toolkit to overcome obstacles for growth, inclusion, and personal success.
Additionally, Girma has volunteered with Stanford's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee's annual A, B, Trees event while serving as a member of the Faculty Relations. It aims to promote literacy in the Bay Area.
Recently, Girma has also worked with Curious Cardinals, a startup created by students at Stanford. They provide guidance to high school students about what it's like and how to be a successful college student-athlete.
The Cardinal has landed six prior players on the finalist lists – most recently Alana Cook in 2018. Andi Sullivan is the lone Cardinal to win the Senior CLASS Award, capturing the honor in 2017.
2021 Senior CLASS Award Women's Soccer Finalists
Joelle Anderson, Pepperdine
Gabby Carle, Florida State
Mikayla Colohan, BYU
Naomi Girma, Stanford
Sydney Harwood, Manhattan
Penelope Hocking, USC
Izzy Rodriguez, Ohio State
Gaby Schwartz, Milwaukee
Frankie Tagliaferri, Rutgers
Kelsey Turnbow, Santa Clara