Laguna Beach alumna Aria Fischer wins Cutino Award
Laguna Beach High alumna Aria Fischer had seemingly accomplished it all in a dominant water polo career that took her around the world.
Fischer was still able to add one more very impressive piece of hardware to her collection last weekend.
She was named the Peter J. Cutino Award women’s water polo winner for 2023 in a ceremony at an Olympic Club facility in San Francisco.
The award is given annually to the top men’s and women’s collegiate water polo player. Fischer’s older sister Makenzie earned the honor in 2019 and also last year.
Aria Fischer, a center and redshirt senior, helped Stanford University win its record ninth NCAA championship this year. The Cardinal beat USC 11-9 in the title match at University of the Pacific on May 14, claiming their second straight crown.
Starting goalkeeper Maya Avital and Sophie Wallace, both Corona del Mar High alumnae, also helped Stanford win the title.
Aria Fischer won three CIF championships with Laguna Beach and compiled an 81-1 record before graduating in 2017, a year after helping the Team USA women win Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as the youngest player on the roster.
She thanked her parents Erich — a 1992 men’s water polo Olympian and Laguna Beach assistant coach — and Leslie during her acceptance speech. She also thanked her coaches and teammates, including her older sister, also a Stanford graduate.
“Thank you for graduating so I could win this award,” Aria Fischer said with a laugh, before getting serious. “Makenzie, you’ve always been the best sister in and out of the pool. The single thing I’m most thankful to water polo for is how close it made us as sisters.”
Aria Fischer won her second Olympic gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and continued winning for Stanford, with three national titles.
Fischer was the MPSF Tournament and NCAA Tournament MVP this year, and ranks fifth all-time in Stanford annals with 226 goals scored. A four-time All-American, she led Stanford in goals (71) and assists (45) this season.
She and her older sister have retired from international water polo, but winning the Cutino Award was certainly not a bad way to cap a standout career.
On the men’s side, Nikolaos Papanikolaou of Cal won his second straight Cutino Award.
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