Stanford's Fischer a finalist for water polo's Cutino Award


The Olympic Club of San Francisco named Makenzie Fischer one of three finalists for the prestigious Peter J. Cutino Award it was learned Tuesday. The award is given to the outstanding female and male collegiate water polo players in the United States as voted by Division I coaches.

Five Stanford women have earned the honor seven times, including five of the last eight years. Kiley Neushul (2015, 2012), Annika Dries (2014, 2011), Melissa Seidemann (2013), Jackie Frank (2003) and Brenda Villa (2002) are Stanford student-athletes to collect the award, which was instituted in 1999.

The winners will be announced at the 20th Annual Cutino Awards Dinner to be held Saturday, June 1 at The Olympic Club’s City Clubhouse. Fischer, also a finalist last year, is up for the award along with Amanda Longan and Paige Hauschild of USC.

A 2016 Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA champion, Fischer put together one of the most impressive offensive seasons in MPSF history. The conference’s player of the year scored a league-best 3.50 goals per game, the second-highest average in the MPSF over the past 15 seasons (Sarah Harris, Pacific, 2007; 3.64).

The junior scored in every one of the 24 games in which she played and poured in a career-high 84 goals, the second-most in Stanford history (Ellen Estes; 1998; 93) and a single-season record for a national champion.

Fischer is sixth on Stanford's all-time scoring list with 205 career goals in just 74 games (2.77 goals per game). Estes (1997-98, 2001-02) is next on the list with 214 and Melissa Seidemann (2009-11, 13) and Lauren Silver (2006-09) are tied for the school record with 239.

Named the NCAA Tournament MVP, Fischer scored six times at the national championship tournament, including a hat trick in the final against USC. Stanford won its seventh NCAA title and fourth in the past six seasons with a 9-8 victory over the No. 1 Trojans at Avery Aquatic Center on Sunday.

Considered the Heisman Trophy of water polo, the Cutino Award is given annually in honor of the late Peter J. Cutino, the former California and The Olympic Club coach, who passed away in September 2004. He is in the U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame, won "Water Polo Coach of the Year" 17 times and led the Golden Bears to eight NCAA Championships. In his career, Cutino also coached in the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games, the Water Polo World Championships and the World University Games.

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