Courtesy: USC Athletics
USC’s two-meter talent Tilly Kearns has earned her second career pick as a finalist for collegiate water polo’s top honor — the Peter J. Cutino Award. A relentless force on both ends of the pool, the 2020 Australian Olympian was instrumental in the Trojans’ success once again this season.
An NCAA All-Tournament First Team selection in helping her Trojans to the 2023 NCAA final, redshirt junior Tilly Kearns led USC in steals and drawn exclusions while pumping in 69 goals — the ninth most scored in a single season in USC history. That brought her career count out to 162 for the back-to-back Cutino Award finalist and two-time All-MPSF First Team honoree. Kearns also was an MPSF Player of the Week pick this season, boasting three five-goal outings this year. In all, Kearns scored in a team-high 26 games this year with team-high 21 multiple-goal outings in 2023.
Congrats to @kearns_tilly for a second straight selection as a Cutino Award finalist!#FightOn ✌️ pic.twitter.com/HwEmh09xhY
— USC Water Polo (@USCWaterPolo) May 25, 2023
Kearns’ second straight selection as a finalist for the Cutino Award marks USC’s 23rd such honor. She follows in the footsteps of USC’s most recent finalists: Denise Mammolito and Maud Megens in 2021, with Megens emerging as the Cutino Award Winner that year. They followed back-to-back finalists Paige Hauschild and Amanda Longan in 2018 and 2019. Since the award’s inception in 1999, USC women have collected nine Cutino Awards. Past USC women’s Cutino Award winners are: Bernice Orwig (1999), Aniko Pelle (2000), Moriah Van Norman (2004), Lauren Wenger (2006), Kami Craig (2009 & 2010), Stephania Haralabidis (2016), Amanda Longan (2018) and Maud Megens (2021).
Kearns is joined on the 2023 women’s finalist list by Stanford’s Aria Fischer and Ryann Neushul. On the men’s side, USC has Jake Ehrhardt named a finalist alongside California’s Nikolaos Papanikolaou and Pacific’s Reuel D’Souza.
The 2022-23 Cutino Awards will take place on the evening of Saturday, June 3rd at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. The ceremony will be live-streamed free of charge courtesy of USA Water Polo at YouTube.com/USAWP. The broadcast will feature interviews with finalists, athletes, coaches plus the Cutino Award ceremony in its entirety. Those interested in attending the awards can register by visiting https://www.olyclub.com/cutino-awards-rsvp/.
ABOUT THE OLYMPIC CLUB
Founded in 1860, The Olympic Club enjoys the distinction of being among the oldest athletic clubs in America. Since its birth, The Olympic Club has fostered amateur athletics in San Francisco. The Winged “O” currently fields teams in 17 sports. Additionally, The Olympic Club has hosted five U.S. Opens, and looks forward to hosting the 2028 PGA Championship and 2032 Ryder Cup at its world-class Lakeside Clubhouse golf courses.
All-time Peter J. Cutino Award winners:
1998-99 – Bernice Orwig (USC)
1999-2000 – Sean Kern (UCLA) & Aniko Pelle (USC)
2000-01 – Sean Kern (UCLA) & Coralie Simmons (UCLA)
2001-02 – Tony Azevedo (Stanford) & Brenda Villa (Stanford)
2002-03 – Tony Azevedo (Stanford) & Jackie Frank (Stanford)
2003-04 – Tony Azevedo (Stanford) & Moriah Van Norman (USC)
2004-05 – Tony Azevedo (Stanford) & Natalie Golda (UCLA)
2005-06 – Juraj Zatovic (USC) & Lauren Wenger (USC)
2006-07 – John Mann (Cal) & Kelly Rulon (UCLA)
2007-08 – Tim Hutten (UC Irvine) & Courtney Mathewson (UCLA)
2008-09 – J.W. Krumpholz (USC) & Kami Craig (USC)
2009-10 – J.W. Krumpholz (USC) & Kami Craig (USC)
2010-11 – Ivan Rackov (California) & Annika Dries (Stanford)
2011-12 – Joel Dennerley (USC) & Kiley Neushel (Stanford)
2012-13 – Balazs Erdelyi (Pacific) & Melissa Seidemann (Stanford)
2013-14 – Balazs Erdelyi (Pacific) & Annika Dries (Stanford)
2014-15 – Kostas Genidounias (USC) & Kiley Neushel (Stanford)
2015-16 – Garrett Danner (UCLA) & Stephania Haralabidis (USC)
2016-17 – McQuin Baron (USC) & Ashleigh Johnson (Princeton)
2017-18 – Luca Cupido (Cal) & Amanda Longan (USC)
2018-19 – Ben Hallock (Stanford) & Makenzie Fischer (Stanford)
2019-20 – Ben Hallock (Stanford)
2020-21 – Nicolas Saveljic (UCLA) & Maud Megens (USC)
2021-22 – Nikolaos Papanikolaou (Cal) & Makenzie Fischer (Stanford)