A fourth team All-American and a pair of league Most Valuable Players plan to enroll at San Jose State University and play for the Spartans’ perennial top-10 nationally-ranked women’s water polo program beginning in the 2017 season. San Jose State head coach Johnny Bega made the announcement.
Amber McCutcheon of San Clemente (Calif.) High, Kathryn Elgin of Merced (Calif.) High and Caroline Kerwin of Garces Memorial High are three current high school seniors to score at least 90 goals in their most recent season before signing with San Jose State.
“We are looking for top athletes to come in and make an impact right away on our team. One of our priorities was identifying players with center experience (2-meter players) and solid defensive skills,” says the Spartans’ head coach whose team was ranked eighth in the final 2015 national coaches poll. “We’re very excited about this recruiting class. All of them have great experiences and can make an immediate impact on our team.”
McCutcheon, the one southpaw of the three Spartan signees, was a 2014-15 KAI-Cal-Hi All-American. The All-C.I.F. Southern Section Division II honoree scored 107 goals in 2015. McCutcheon was a member of the 2014 U.S. Junior Pan American team and a 2014 second-team Junior Olympics All-American.
“Amber is one of the dominant players in Orange County and is one of the players we are looking at to replace our 2-meter players who are graduating this year,” says Bega about the incoming 2-meter player who plays club water polo for SET. “On offense, she attracts either the opposing team’s top defender or is double teamed, but is still able to score consistently.”
Elgin is in the midst of her second season scoring at least 90 goals for Merced High. As a junior, she was the California Conference Most Valuable Player, an All-Sac Joaquin Section honoree and the Merced Sun Star Girls Water Polo Player of the Year scoring 91 goals for the conference champion Panthers. In matches this season through the end of October 2015, Elgin had 91 goals. In each of the last two years, USA Water Polo honored her as an outstanding high school scholar-athlete.
“I’ve watched Kathryn a long time. She is a force to be reckoned with. Like Amber, Kathryn is always double-teamed and will help us at the center position,” the Spartans head coach said about Elgin who also played for the SOAK water polo club.
Kerwin was the 2014 Most Valuable Player of the East Yosemite League and an All-Valley Division II honoree as a junior. Her team won the 2014 Central Section Division II championship posting a 26-1 win-loss record. Kerwin led her team in scoring with 99 goals. After three varsity seasons, she scored 206 goals in 74 games.
“Caroline has lots of speed and is very versatile. She can play inside or outside and will definitely help us,” says Bega. Kerwin has club experience with the Bakersfield Water Polo Club.