The 2017 Cutino Award finalists for water polo were announced this week by The Olympic Club of San Francisco and will be given out at the annual awards on June 3rd. The Cutino Award is given annually to the “outstanding water polo players” for men’s and women’s in NCAA Division 1 as voted on by the D1 coaches.
This year’s finalists are:
- Rachel Fattal, UCLA, Redshirt Senior, Attacker
- Ashleigh Johnson, Princeton, Senior, Goalie
- Maggie Steffens, Stanford, Senior, Driver
- Ryder Roberts, UCLA, Senior, Attacker
- Garrett Danner, UCLA, Senior, Goalie
- McQuin Baron, USC, Junior, Goalie
- Blake Edwards, USC, Junior, Driver
Rachel Fattal of UCLA, Ashleigh Johnson of Princeton and Maggie Steffens of Stanford were named as the trio of finalists. Fattal is a US olympian and gold medal winner from Rio in 2016. She led the Bruins in goals, assists, steals and blocks and helped lead them to their 11th consecutive conference championship.
Ashleigh Johnson led the Princeton Tigers in steals and tallied 16 assists during the 2016-2017 season. Additionally, Johnson had 300 saves and save percentage on the year close to 70%. She was also an Olympian in 2016.
Steffens is a two-time Olympic Champion in 2012 and 2016. She is a two-time Olympic MVP and double FINA Women’s Water Polo Athlete of the Year. Steffens has been a finalist for the Cutino award in each of her seasons at Stanford.
On the men’s side, the four finalists are from only two schools. Ryder Roberts and Garrett Danner of UCLA will be joined by USC Trojans McQuin Baron and Blake Edwards at the annual banquet.
Roberts was named the 2015 MVP of the NCAA Championships after UCLA won the national title. He also led the Bruins in steals in 2016. Danner, the team netminder, was a third team All-American in 2016 and is the reigning Cutino Award winner.
McQuin Baron ranks second all-time in saves at USC. His total of 247 from this season in sixth all time for a single season at USC. Baron was a 2016 US Olympian for the Men’s Water Polo Team in Rio. Edwards was on the NCAA All-Tournament First Team in 2016 as a junior captain for the Trojans.