Who are the best players in the North Central region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.
*Will edit/add more info after regionals
Iowa State: While Britnee Grimshaw didn’t play the weekend we faced them at MWTD, I know that Brittnee has been killing it for a few years now and it’s no surprise that their team has been doing fantastic this season. I wish I could mention more players (their captains are baller, but I don’t remember their names) because they have such a sweet squad and they’re the team to beat in the region this year.
Carleton: I haven’t had the opportunity to play against Katie Ciaglo and her team yet, but it’s one of the most anticipated games of our season. Carleton runs their offense through Katie and, as expected, she’s a force to be reckoned with. I’m excited to see firsthand what she can do.
Wisconsin: Sabrina Hoffman, Sarah Mondschein and Brittney Kokinos are great leaders and competitors for Bella. Sophomore Jackie Welsch stepped into a new handler role mid-season and has been a key piece of Bella’s offense. Wisconsin also had the pleasure of adding baller grad students to the team (Mila Flowerman and Charlotte Francouer) and we’re grateful for their experience, knowledge, and athleticism as they were important contributions to the team’s season.
Wisconsin-Lacrosse: Although a little known team outside of the NC Region, Lacrosse was clearly a top contender at the Wisconsin conferences, thanks to their incredibly talented women. Most notable was McKenna Hage. Robyn Wiseman summed up Hage’s talent best: “Hage should be on the short list for North Central Player of the Year, with her ability to make jaw-dropping athletic plays, balanced with strong throws to distribute the disc to her teammates.”
Three cutters from Minnesota I’d like to highlight:
Makella Daley- Super fast, senior team captain who, although short, catches everything.
Kayla Blanek- Makella’s antithesis in height, sophomore who physically dominates.
Danica Cutshall- grad student who just started playing ultimate a couple years ago, but is already a dominant, speedy cutter.
Anneke Vermaak (19) is one of the biggest reason Wisconsin made it to the finals at regionals. Anneke is a first class thrower who can give-go, throw it deep, throw over the top, throw it like there isn’t even a mark and on and on. She is the heart and soul of the Wisconsin team. She is a phenomenal deep/deep defender, and her ability to fire up the team with her intensity has kept Wisconsin in games you wouldn’t expect.
Brittney Kokinos (13) has big throws that opens up Wisconsin’s offense and she makes eye catching saves with discs you’re sure will hit the turf. Sarah Mondschein (18) might be the region’s best defensive player. She throws her body everywhere and is a nightmare to match up on 1-v-1. People always talk about deep/deeps, but I don’t know if I’ve seen a better mid/mid in the college division this past year than Sarah.
Molly Berkholtz (16), Claire Cech (60) and Jackie Welsch (1) are solid players for Wisconsin who should also be considered.
Brittnee Grimshaw (4) is an extremely athletic and skilled player who demonstrates high intensity and spirited play. During Wisconsin’s semifinal game against ISU, Brittnee had zero errors, connecting on all her throws and never dropping a pass. She always plays so well, and coupled with her speediness and willingness to bid for discs makes her a first team pick.
I am also so impressed with Caitlin Durston (20). Discs that seemed to be sailing way above her head were always caught. She can seriously jump and had the ability to stretch ISU’s deep game because she can catch all things thrown to her. Rachel Bates (52), Sarah Leichty (18), and Megan Halverson (5) should also be considered.
Katie Ciaglo (45) runs Carleton’s offense. Carleton’s handling corps in general works so well together (and I’ll use this time to also mention Madeleine Preiss (17) who doesn’t make mistakes), but Katie has the ability to take over a point single handedly. She is skilled at give and gos, hucking, working the offense with unders, etc. She’s also a great defender for Carleton as a deep/deep. We had a lot of problems attacking the deep space because Katie is so good at breaking up those connections.
In our two games against Carleton, Claire Thallon (5) didn’t make any mistakes and kept possessions alive with full extension bids and difficult scooped grabs for errant throws. She attacks spaces with perfect timing and is a great cutter for Carleton.
We only played Minnesota once earlier this season, but Makella Daley (3) and Kayla Blanek (33) both stood out to me as fantastic players. Makella Daley had great forehand hucks and inside breaks. Kayla Blanek is a great defender and offensive player in the deep space. It was difficult throwing to the person she was guarding and any other player in her vicinity.
McKenna Hage from La Crosse, Elizabeth Gronert from Iowa, and #3 from Steven’s Point (I’m sorry I don’t know your name, but I will update if someone lets me know) are other great players from our region. McKenna skied so many of our players, and at conferences she had a monster toeing-the-line layout grab. She is a phenomenal player.
Elizabeth Gronert is the main engine of the Iowa offense. She can throw just about anything. Her intensity on defense, including her layout Ds, is also incredible.
Number 3 from Steven’s Point was everywhere when we played them at conferences. She had so many defensive plays and great grabs on offense. She was a nightmare to match up on, with her extremely quick cuts and dynamic mark.