Women’s Finalists For 2024 Peter J. Cutino Award Announced

Courtesy: USA Water Polo

San Francisco, CA – May 21 – The Olympic Club has announced the women’s finalists for the Peter J. Cutino Award, an iconic honor in NCAA water polo to recognize the best men’s and women’s players each year. The women’s finalists are Bia Mantellato Dias (Hawaii), Isabel Williams (California), and Lauren Steele (UCLA).

Bia Mantellato Dias was named Big West Player of the Year and a member of the All-Big West First Team for the second consecutive season. She was a key part of the run to the NCAA Semifinal that saw the Wahine finish the season No. 3 in the final 2024 polls, the highest final ranking in the history of the program and the Big West Conference. Mantellato Dias led Hawaii with 64 goals scored and notched a hat trick in ten games, including three four-goal performances and three five-goal showings.

Isabel Williams captained a University of California defense that led the nation with just 6.7 goals allowed per game. She tallied eleven saves and one steal in the NCAA Championship against UCLA, bringing her program saves record to 885. Williams ends her fifth-year senior season with career highs in saves (326), save percentage (.653) and saves per game (12.5) while being named to the All-MPSF First Team.

Lauren Steele was named NCAA Championship MVP after racking up 17 saves in a 7-4 UCLA win over California. Steele was also named MPSF Tournament MVP and Newcomer of the Year. She accumulated 268 saves and scored seven goals of her own en route to a perfect 26-0 record, the third undefeated season in program history (2005 & 2008).

The men’s finalists were announced previously and include Nikolaos Papanikolaou (Cal), Roko Pozaric (Princeton), and Rafael Real Vergara (UCLA)

The Cutino Awards will take place on the evening of Saturday, June 1 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. The ceremony will be live-streamed at Overnght.com. 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 clicking here.

Established in 1999 by The Olympic Club, the Cutino Award is given annually to the top men’s and women’s NCAA Division I water polo players as voted on by coaches from across the country. The namesake of the award is a legend in United States water polo history, with eight NCAA titles as head coach at Cal. The Olympic Club has a long and distinguished competitive water polo history, a tradition that continues today in the pool with some of the best age-group teams in the world.

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