Men's Water Polo
    Juan Delgadillo and Erika Figge Honored As Peter J. Cutino Award Finalists
    Juan Delgadillo and Eirka Figge are 2007 Cutino Award finalists.
    Juan Delgadillo and Eirka Figge are 2007 Cutino Award finalists.

    May 4, 2007

    After sweeping the men's and women's honor as Peter J. Cutino Award recipients in 2006, USC again has solid representation in line for the 2007 award - considered the Heisman Trophy of water polo. As career standouts with NCAA Championships already to their names, USC seniors Juan Delgadillo and Erika Figge have been named finalists for the 2007 Peter J. Cutino Award. The award will be presented in a ceremony at the Olympic Club in San Francisco on June 2.

    Juan Delgadillo (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake HS) is joined by UC San Diego's Ty Lackey and California's John Mann as the 2007 male Cutino Award finalists. He was selected the 2007 National Player of the Year as well as the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year as a senior. USC's top scorer in 2006, Delgadillo punched in 54 goals for the Trojans to finish his USC career with 141 goals to rank No. 10 all-time. He follows all-time USC leading scorer Juraj Zatovic as USC's second straight National Player of the Year. Delgadillo also was an All-America First Team selection as a junior when USC won the 2005 national championship, a win that helped put USC on a program-record-setting 44-game winning streak. Delgadillo and the Trojans went undefeated in the 2006 regular season. Delgadillo has won two national championships with the Trojans, first as a freshman in 2003 and again in 2005. In 2006, he led the Trojans to within a last-second title-stealing score of a third national championship. Delgadillo finishes his USC career as the No. 10 all-time scorer at USC with 141 career goals.

    Erika Figge (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita HS) is accompanied by Stanford's Katie Hanson and UCLA's Katie Rulon as the 2007 female Cutino finalists. A U.S. National Team member who is training to join Team USA at the 2008 Olympic Games, Figge has been the foundation of the USC season as a senior. Named the team's Most Inspirational Player every year since coming to Troy, Figge helped USC win the 2004 NCAA Championship as a freshman. Now a senior, Figge is USC's leading scorer and was recently selected to the All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation First Team. Also an All-American in her first three seasons (2007 awards have not yet been announced), Figge has been a dominant player offensively and defensively for the Women of Troy. She is a team captain and now ranks No. 8 all-time at USC in scoring with 133 career goals. She's has 14 multiple-goal games in her senior season, and was named to the 2007 MPSF All-Tournament Team as the Trojans now turn to pursue an NCAA Championship next weekend. With Figge in the lineup, USC has reached the NCAA tournament the past four years, and the Trojans have never lost a game at their home pool, McDonald's Swim Stadium, throughout Figge's career.

    In 2006, USC swept the Cutino Award ceremony for the first time in program history. Two-meter defender Juraj Zatovic became the Trojans' first-ever male recipient of the award, and Lauren Wenger became the fourth Woman of Troy and first defender to claim the women's honor.

    The Peter J. Cutino Award is named after legendary former Cal head coach Pete Cutino, who passed away in September 2004. A U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame member, Cutino was a four-time Pac-10 and NCAA Coach of the Year and led the Bears to eight NCAA championships during his 26 years spent at Berkeley. Also a coach for the U.S. Olympic Team, Cutino impacted the lives of water polo players and families at all levels of the sport. In 1999, The Olympic Club began the annual award named after the revered coach, established to honor the top male and female player in the collegiate game.

    Past recipients of the prestigious award are:

    1999 - Bernice Orwig (USC)
    2000 - Aniko Pelle (USC) and Sean Kern (UCLA)
    2001 - Coralie Simmons (UCLA) and Sean Kern (UCLA)
    2002 - Brenda Villa (Stanford) and Tony Azevedo (Stanford)
    2003 - Jackie Frank (Stanford) and Tony Azevedo (Stanford)
    2004 - Moriah Van Norman (USC) and Tony Azevedo (Stanford)
    2005 - Natalie Golda (UCLA) and Tony Azevedo (Stanford)
    2006 - Lauren Wenger (USC) and Juraj Zatovic (USC)