USC’s Maud Megens Wins Peter J. Cutino Award
A first-time finalist for collegiate water polo's highest honor, redshirt senior Maud Megens becomes the eighth USC woman to win the Peter J. Cutino Award, selected as the women's 2021 honoree for the prestigious award tonight (Sept. 2). Megens helped her Trojans win the 2021 NCAA Championship, adding another ring to her collection after also winning it all in 2018.
Megens closed out her USC career by scoring six goals for USC in the NCAA final, a fitting finish to her Trojan career before becoming a first-time Olympian in Tokyo with the Netherlands. With her 50 goals scored in 2021, Megens wrapped her time at Troy ranked No. 6 all-time in scoring with 213 career goals. Just the fifth Trojan to be named ACWPC National Player of the Year, Megens is a four-time All-American as well as a two-time NCAA champion. Megens also was named MPSF Player of the Year and NCAA and MPSF Tournament MVP in 2021.
Since the award's inception in 1999, eight USC women have now collected a total of nine Cutino Awards: Bernice Orwig (1999), Aniko Pelle (2000), Moriah Van Norman (2004), Lauren Wenger (2006), Kami Craig (2009 & 2010), Stephania Haralabidis (2016), Amanda Longan (2018) and Megens (2021).
We got a WINNER! 👏
Congrats to the mighty @Maudmegens on becoming the 8️⃣th USC woman to win the Peter J. Cutino Award!
🙌 All hail college water polo's top player in 2021! 🙌#FightOn 🏆 pic.twitter.com/ABGvSRX1zj
— USC Water Polo (@USCWaterPolo) September 3, 2021
Also a finalist for this year's women's award was USC super senior Denise Mammolito, who scored 51 goals for the Trojans en route to the 2021 NCAA Championship. This was the seventh time in program history that USC had two women named finalists for the Cutino Award, following back-to-back finalists Paige Hauschild and Amanda Longan in 2018 and 2019. Longan was USC's last winner, having claimed the Cutino in 2018 after USC's run to the NCAA title that year. In 2016, Stephania Haralabidis and Brigitta Games were named finalists, and Haralabidis came away with USC's seventh Cutino Award on the women's side. Prior to that, USC doubled up on female finalists in 2006 (Lauren Wenger & Brittany Hayes), 2009 (Kami Craig & Michelle Stein) and 2010 (Kami Craig & Tumua Anae). In all, Mammolito and Megens ran USC's total count of Cutino Award finalist selections to 21.
USC also had a Trojan finalist on the men's side, with Jacob Mercep earning his first selection as a Cutino Award finalist. This year's men's winner was Nicolas Saveljic of UCLA.
Established in 1999, the award is given annually in honor of the late Peter J. Cutino, the former University of California Berkeley and The Olympic Club coach, who passed away in September 2004. Mr. Cutino is in the U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame. He won "Water Polo Coach of the Year" 17 times. He led UC Berkeley to eight NCAA National Championships. In his career, Cutino also coached in the Pan American Games, the Water Polo World Championships and the World University Games.
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 (California) & 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 (California) & Amanda Longan (USC)
2018-19 - Ben Hallock (Stanford) & Makenzie Fischer (Stanford)
2019-20 - Ben Hallock (Stanford)
2020-21 - Nicolas Saveljic (UCLA) & Maud Megens (USC)