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Stanford's Steffens named world's best in water polo again

 

For the second time in the past three years, Stanford junior Maggie Steffens has been named the FINA Women's Water Polo Athlete of the Year it was announced Monday.

Steffens arrived in Doha, Qatar on Saturday to accept the prestigious honor at the third FINA World Aquatics Convention in the Qatari capital.

"So fortunate and humbled to be named 2014 FINA Water Polo Player of the Year! What an honor," Steffens tweeted.

The American beat five other finalists, including Kami Craig (USA), Maica Garcia (ESP), Giulia Gorlero (ITA), Rita Keszthelyi (HUN), and Rowie Webster (AUS).

Awarded by the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) and FINA Aquatics World Magazine, voting is carried out by FINA member federations and everyone who holds a FINA position.

Steffens is the first two-time winner of the award, which was inaugurated in 2010. She was also named the FINA Women's Water Polo Athlete of the Year in 2012 before making her collegiate debut with the Cardinal. Filip Filipovic (SRB) won on the men's side. He also took home the honor in 2011.

Steffens delivered 12 goals, helping Team USA earn a second consecutive FINA World Cup crown this season. She was second on the team in scoring with 11 goals in a gold medal effort at the 2014 FINA World League Super Final.

Steffens earned Olympic MVP honors and led all players with 21 goals as the U.S. captured gold at the 2012 London Games. She scored five goals in that Olympic Final against Spain and matched the Olympic record with seven goals in the tournament-opening U.S. win over Hungary.

In May, Steffens helped Stanford capture its third NCAA title in four years and fourth overall. She provided one of the main punches for the Cardinal offense, sharing the team scoring crown with Kiley Neushul (51 goals).

Steffens tallied six hat tricks to power an offense that averaged 13.31 goals per game and earned her second consecutive ACWPC All-America First Team nod.

Women's basketball

Stanford forward Kaylee Johnson was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for her performances in the Cardinal's recent games against New Mexico, North Carolina, Hawaii and Prairie View A&M, the conference announced Monday.

Johnson earned the honor on her birthday after she continued her torrid start on the boards, pulling down an average of 11.8 per game in Stanford's four contests last week.

At New Mexico, Johnson registered the first double-double of her young career and the first for a Cardinal in 2014-15 with 10 points and 22 rebounds against the Lobos.

The 22 boards tie her for third in Stanford single-game history with Mikaela Ruef and are a program record for a freshman in a single game. She also scored 7.5 per game and made 10 of her 14 shot attempts during the week (71.4 percent). Johnson is third in the nation among freshmen in rebounds per game (11.0).

Women's golf

Mariah Stackhouse was named American's Amateur of the Year, the Global Golf Post announced Monday.

The publication also included women's golfers Lauren Kim and Casey Danielson as honorable mention selections on its Global All-Amateur teams, recognizing on-course amateur excellence around the world.

In all, 211 men and women from around 23 different countries were recognized at the amateur, mid-amateur, and senior amateur levels.

"Mariah is a tremendous choice for this award" said Jim Nugent, founder and publisher of Global Golf Post. "She exemplifies all that is important in the global amateur game today, on and off the course."

Stackhouse was the first African-American ever named to the United States Curtis Cup team, and she led that squad to victory in June at St. Louis Country Club in Missouri.

Ranked 46th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Stackhouse was a first team All-American selection for the 2013-14 college season.

— Stanford Athletics

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