Senior 2-meter Annika Dries and sophomore driver Maggie Steffens of the Stanford women’s water polo team were named finalists for the Peter J. Cutino Award, The Olympic Club of San Francisco announced Wednesday.
Dries and Steffens are two of the three finalists for the award, given annually to both the top men’s and women’s collegiate water polo players, being joined by UCLA goalie Sami Hill. Stanford players have claimed five Cutino Awards, as Brenda Villa (2002), Jackie Frank (2003), Dries (2011), Kiley Neushul (2012) and Melissa Seidemann (2013) have all taken home the honor.
This season Dries and Steffens have been crucial pieces of a Cardinal team that owns a 22-1 record and is the top seed heading into this weekend’s National Collegiate Championship. Stanford claimed its first MPSF Championship crown since 2006 on April 27 with a 6-5 victory over UCLA.
The Cardinal will face No. 8 Indiana Friday at 3:30 p.m. at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center to open National Collegiate Championship action.
Dries, one of the top interior players in the country, has been a force on both ends of the pool. Her defense has played a major role in shutting down opponents’ top 2-meter players all season, contributing to the Cardinal’s 5.91 goals allowed per game as well as its 7-1 record this year against fellow top-four teams UCLA, USC and California. On the offensive end, Dries is fourth on the team with 40 goals. Her stellar two-way play resulted in her being named the MPSF Championship MVP as well as to the All-MPSF First Team.
Another one of Stanford’s four 40-goal scorers, Steffens sits second on the team with 44 goals and ninth in the MPSF with 1.91 goals per game. The Danville native scored six times over Stanford’s two wins at the MPSF Championship and was named to the All-Tournament Team, and following the event was also selected for the All-MPSF First Team.The Peter J. Cutino Award winners will be announced at the 15th annual Cutino Awards Dinner on May 31 in San Francisco.