May 5, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO - UCLA women's water polo seniors Courtney Mathewson and Jillian Kraus have been selected as two of the three finalists for the 2008 Peter J. Cutino Award, an accolade presented annually to the outstanding female and male collegiate water polo players in the United States.
Mathewson and Kraus are joined on the ballot by Stanford's Lauren Silver. Both UCLA seniors captured MPSF Co-Player of the Year honors last week, after having led the undefeated women's water polo team to the MPSF Tournament title for the second consecutive year.
Mathewson has scored 50 goals in 30 matches and has netted at least one goal in 26 of the Bruins' 30 games this spring. Mathewson, who resides in Anaheim Hills, Calif., captured MPSF Player of the Week honors on March 17 following a three-goal effort in an 8-7 win at USC. In UCLA's final two games at last weekend's MPSF Tournament, Mathewson combined for seven goals before earning tournament MVP honors.
Kraus ranks in the top-10 among all MPSF scorers with 54 goals (1.80 goals per game) entering this weekend's NCAA Tournament. A native of Foothill, Calif., Kraus gained MPSF Player of the Week honors on Feb. 18 after having scored nine goals in three conference road games. Kraus has scored at least one goal in 28 of 30 matches and began the season having scored in each of the first 13 games.
The UCLA women's water polo program boasts three Peter J. Cutino Award winners. Coralie Simmons won the award in its first year of existence in 2001. Natalie Golda became the Bruins' second Cutino Award winner in 2005. Last spring, Kelly Rulon earned the award after having set UCLA's career goals record.
This year's winner will be announced at the ninth annual Peter J. Cutino Awards Night Dinner on Saturday, June 7, at The Olympic Club's City Clubhouse located at 524 Post Street in San Francisco.
UCLA (30-0) opens competition at the 2008 NCAA Tournament against eighth-seeded Pomona-Pitzer on Friday, May 9 at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center. Game time is slated for 5 p.m.