Scholar-Athlete of the Year
SAN FRANCISCO – Stanford senior defender Naomi Girma has been named 2021 Pac-12 Women's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Conference office announced on Monday. The award, which is presented in each of the 24 sports the Pac-12 sponsors, was established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.
Girma is the eighth Stanford women's soccer player to garner the award, including the first since Michelle Xiao was lauded in 2018.
A senior defender from San Jose, Calif., Girma is a symbolic systems/management science & engineering (MS) major at Stanford with a 3.92 cumulative grade-point average. A three-time All-Pac-12 selection (third team in 2018, first team in 2019, 2021) and three-time team captain for the Cardinal (2019-21), Girma has previously been a member of the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll in 2019 and 2020. She is a two-time member of the CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 First Team (2019, 2021) and is a Senior CLASS award finalist this fall.
On the field, the two-time Pac-12 Defender of the Year (2019, 2021) and two-time United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American (2019, 2021) is a two-time Pac-12 Champion (2018-19) and helped lead the Cardinal to two College Cup appearances (2018-19), including Stanford's third NCAA Championship title in 2019.
In 2021, the MAC Hermann Trophy candidate started all 20 matches anchoring a Cardinal back line that posted nine shutouts and limited opponents to 0.85 goals per match. She also scored four goals, including a game-winner versus Washington State.
To be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport's regular season. The athletics accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in voting for the award.
A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12's 24 sponsored sports: baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, beach volleyball, men's cross country, women's cross country, football, men's golf, women's golf, women's gymnastics, women's lacrosse, men's rowing, women's rowing, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball, men's swimming & diving, women's swimming & diving, men's tennis, women's tennis, men's track & field, women's track & field, women's volleyball, and wrestling. The award was first established during the 2007-08 academic year.