Next Level Watch: Yaro named Big East Player of the Year, Hermann Trophy semifinalist

Santa Barbara High alum Dani Rottman led the West Coast Conference in digs this season.

Santa Barbara High alum Dani Rottman led the West Coast Conference in digs this season for Santa Clara.

A highly successful sophomore season at Georgetown has put former Cate School soccer player Joshua Yaro in the conversation as the country’s best college player.

Yaro was just announced as one of 16 semifinalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy, given to NCAA soccer’s MVP. Finalists will be released after the College Cup, and the winner will be announced on January 9.

Yaro, who graduated from Cate in 2013 and is originally from Ghana, was also named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in November. He was a unanimous All-Big East First-Team selection for leading a defense that produced six shutouts in nine conference matches.

The Hoyas (14-4-4) reached the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament before falling one step short of the College Cup in a penalty-kick shootout against Virginia.

Yaro is the first Georgetown player to get conference Defensive Player of the Year since 1996.

Kai Miller, Boston University Soccer — Miller became a two-time all-conference defender for the Terriers in her senior season.  Miller, a Santa Barbara High alum, was named to the Patriot League’s First Team for the second time and was a significant piece of Boston University winning consecutive conference titles in 2013 and 2014.

Miller’s playing career at BU came to an end when the Terriers (14-5-3) fell to Northeastern in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Dani Rottman, Santa Clara Volleyball —  Rottman helped lead Santa Clara to the NCAA Tournament in her junior season.

The Santa Barbara High grad led the West Coast Conference with an average of 4.75 digs per game and finished the season with 527. Rottman was named to the All-WCC Honorable Mention Team.

“Dani is one of the best defensive players in the conference, leading everyone in digs this year. She has given our team the consistency we needed as both a passer and a server,” said Broncos head coach Jon Wallace.  “She fights hard on every point and takes it personally when she can’t reach a ball.”

Santa Clara lost to Oregon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and completed its season with an overall record of 22-10.

Kelly Kosmo wins national triathlon title

Kosmo, a Dos Pueblos High School product, won the inaugural Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships title for UCLA in November.

Held at Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont, Florida, the women’s-only field competed on a draft-legal 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course.

Kosmo clocked in at 1 hour, five minutes and three seconds, beating second-place finisher Bria Edwards of Penn State by 58 seconds.

Kosmo also finished third earlier this year at the Draft-Legal Collegiate Championships, held as part of the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships.

UCSB’s Savannah Dearden placed fifth.

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