Monica Vavic Named Cutino Award Finalist|
May 10, 2013
Recently crowned the MPSF Player of the Year, USC sophomore Monica Vavic has upgraded her honor roll even further in being named a finalist for the prestigious Peter J. Cutino Award. Vavic, who leads the Women of Troy in scoring with 71 goals as USC begins its bid for the 2013 NCAA Championship today in Boston, is one of four finalists for the Cutino Award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy of collegiate water polo. USC women have won six Cutino Awards in all -- all under the guidance of head coach Jovan Vavic, Monica's father, who is in his 19th season at USC. Monica marks the 13th USC finalist for the award since Bernice Orwig began the winning tradition for the Women of Troy as USC's first finalist and winner in 1999.
In addition to her fellow finalists -- all 2012 Olympic gold medalists from Stanford -- Vavic will have a more familiar face at her table at this year's Cutino Award banquet in June. Her brother, USC junior Nikola Vavic, is a finalist for the men's Cutino Award. The possibility of a brother-sister Cutino award-winning combination is unprecedented. But first, Monica and the Women of Troy are taking aim at capturing the 2013 national championship. Nikola and the USC men just won a fifth straight title for the Trojans in 2012, and this weekend the USC women have the opportunity to bring home another trophy in the same academic year. The top-seeded Women of Troy open the 2013 NCAA Championships with a first-round game today (May 10) at 5:15 p.m. ET against Pomona-PItzer in Boston, Calif.
In the lead-up to chiseling her name as a Cutino Award finalist, Monica Vavic has been making her mark in powerful fashion for the Women of Troy. She leads all MPSF teams with 2.83 goals per game to date, as she has notched the fourth-most single-season goals in USC history with 71 as the Trojans enter the 2013 NCAA tourney. She's just four shy of the No. 3 all-time mark and 10 from No. 2. Her scoring touch has helped USC generate 374 total goals on the year -- third most in program history -- with three games still to go.
Just last week Vavic picked up the Trojans' ninth MPSF Player of the Year award, joining her father on the conference honor roll as Jovan Vavic was named 2013 MPSF Coach of the Year. Also an All-MPSF First Team selection as a freshman, Monica Vavic has continued to impress on both ends of the pool, standing out as a key distributor and defensive force for the Trojans in addition to providing key goals. She struck nine goals in the MPSF Tournament two weeks ago to bump her career count up to 110 goals and earn her a repeat spot on the MPSF All-Tournament Team. Last year, Vavic was the first USC true freshman since 1999 to be named First Team All-American and All-MPSF. Just a sophomore, Vavic already has cracked USC's top-20 all-time scorers, currently standing at No. 18 with her 110 career goals to date.
Vavic's fellow Cutino Award finalists are all from Stanford: Anika Dries, Melissa Seidmann and Maggie Steffens.
The winners will be announced at the 14th Annual Cutino Awards Night Dinner to be held Saturday June 1, 2013 at The Olympic Club's City Clubhouse in San Francisco.
The award is given annually in honor of the late Peter J. Cutino, the former University of California Berkeley and The Olympic Club coach, who passed away in September 2004. Mr. Cutino is in the U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame. He won "Water Polo Coach of the Year" 17 times. He led U.C. Berkeley to eight NCAA National Championships. In his career Mr. Cutino also coached in the Pan American Games, the Water Polo World Championships and the World University Games.