Kai Among Hermann Trophy Semifinalist

MISSION, Kan. - University of Hawaii soccer player Natasha Kai has been selected as one of 15 semifinalists for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, the official National Soccer Coaches Association of America Player of the Year award for Division I competition. The award is regarded as college soccer's version of the Heisman Trophy.

The 15 candidates were selected by a nominating committee of Division I college coaches. Kai, a junior striker, was among 25 players selected in August for the Hermann Award Watch List. The native of Kahuku, Oahu led the Rainbow Wahine in scoring with 12 goals and five assists for 29 points. Seven of her 12 goals this season were game-winners, including three golden goals in overtime. Kai earned first team all-Western Athletic Conference honors for the third straight season and already ranks in the career top five in three WAC statistical categories. The holder of more than a dozen school and conference records she added to the list in 2004 with a record 130 shots taken, including 49 in conference play. Joining Kai on the Hermann Trophy list were the following players: Nicole Barnhart, a senior goalkeeper from Stanford; Lori Chalupny, a junior forward from North Carolina; Keeley Dowling, a senior defender from Tennessee; Melissa Tancredi, a senior defender from Notre Dame; Lindsay Tarpley, a junior forward from North Carolina; and Tiffany Weimer, a junior forward from Penn State, Kristen Graczyk, a senior forward from Connecticut; Lindsey Huie, a junior midfielder from Portland; Carli Lloyd, a senior midfielder from Rutgers; Heather O'Reilly, a sophomore forward from North Carolina; Leslie Osborne, a senior midfielder from Santa Clara; Christine Sinclair, a junior forward from Portland; Katie Thorlakson, a junior forward from Notre Dame; and Brittany Timko, a sophomore midfielder from Nebraska. The winner will be determined in voting by NSCAA Division I member coaches. Three men's and three women's finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy will be announced at the 2004 Men's College Cup in December. The finalists will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 7, 2005, for the announcement of the winner at a press conference. Both winners will be presented with the prestigious crystal soccer ball trophy at a banquet later that evening.

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