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All-Region 2018: Southwest (D-I Women's)

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Who are the best players in the Southwest region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.

Super good players to start this discussion off:

UCSD: Dena Elimelech, Kelli Iwamoto
Stanford: Julia Butterfield, Hallie Dunham, Caitlin Go, Shayla Harris, Michelle McGhee
USC: Alyssa Perez, Alana Archer
UC-Berkeley: Jackelyne Nguyen, Anna Wysen
UC-Davis: Allyson Tsuji, Bryn Levitan
UCLA: Tahlia Hodes, Katherine Jordak
UCSB: Julia Kwasnick, Hani Pajela, Kaitlyn Weaver
UCSD: Michelle Slaughter
Cal Poly SLO: Danielle Tran, Diana Swanson, Caroline Swanson

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Notable that Katherine Jordak is a rookie out of Paideia. Also Michelle Slaughter is on UCSC.

Typo with Slaughter. Meant to say UCSC.

If no one else starts adding to this thread Imma choose the entire All-region team myself. SMH.

UCSD’s Leanne Go should be on this list.

Disclaimer: I am a graduating senior on Cal Poly SLO Motion and on Graham’s list above.



Dena Elimelech

Kelli Iwamoto

Leanne Go


Julia Butterfield

Shayla Harris

Michelle McGhee

Hallie Dunham


Julia Kwasnick

Hani Pajela


Alyssa Perez


Jackelyne Nguyen

Allegra Mayer


Thalia Ward - Thalia was SLO Motion’s best kept secret. While our accomplishments at Regionals were due to the contribution of all of our players, much of our upwind grinds were thanks to her break throws. In our game-to-go against UCSB, Thalia was sending full field bombs through a 3-man cup consisting of players > 5’8". We could not have made it to universe point without her.

Coming in, she had more experience than any of our vets, myself included. She likely will be the youngest captain in the history of the program next year. She was selected to try out for the U20 National team this year and I have no doubt in my mind she will make the team the next cycle. While it may be because I just watched Ella Hansen’s Callahan video, I believe Thalia’s game shows the same types of brilliance that I see when I watch Ella. Keep your eyes on her in the coming years.

Carolyn Drewry and Tess “Toast” Cartin should be added to the discussion of All Region 2018 Southwest players. They are both from Santa Clara University.

Hey I am 4th year player out of USC and here are my two cents:

In no particular order:
Hallie Dunham (Stanford): Incredible thrower. We saw Stanford twice this season, with and without 15+mph winds and her flick didn’t look an ounce different. Great spirit and fun person to play against.

Shayla Harris (Stanford): A great leader on the field, and impossible to guard. This is a pick your poison type of player, will burn you deep or huck it deep off the under.

Leanne Go (UCSD): An incredible athlete, with a great first step. So speedy and again a fun person to compete against.

Kelli Iwamoto (UCSD): Obviously very iconic no look leftys that destroy even the best of handler D. Along with the rest of UCSD, but great spirit and fun to play against.

Alana Archer (USC): First year center handling and she crushed it. But her bread and butter is definitely playing upfront in a zone, she covered so much ground it was almost impossible for opposing handlers to sneak anything past her. Tremendous growth as a player and leader during our 4 years at USC together

Swansons(SLO): I apologize for not being able distinguish between the two but the following applies to both. Amazing athletes with the throws to compliment. Will most likely outwork you while maintaining a high level of spirit.

Anna Wysen(Cal): A commander on the field, marches down throw a zone with incredible control of her high release backhands.

Jackelyne Nguyen (Cal): The type of player where you have to know where she is on offense and defense because you never know she is going fly (literally) and snag the disc.

Other incredible players:
Julia Kwasnick (UCSB)
Lauren Park (USC)
Danielle Tran (SLO)
Mia Tess (USC)

All Freshman:
Lila Forde is a rookie from Northwest School in Seattle, WA. She is a fierce competitor with the skill set to match. She will fight until the disc is in her hands and is willing to lay it all on the line for her team. It is such a pleasure to watch her play. She has a great foundation from her time under Mark Burton and she will only continue to get more explosive and deadly on the field. Watch out for wedge.

4th year graduating senior from Cal here! Without repeating too much from what other people have said…

Dena Elimelech - have you seen how long her wingspan is, she can throw around anyone and any disc thrown near her is already a lost cause. It’s been awesome to see her help lead the Psychos to an amazing season after 4 years.

Michelle “Hydra” McGhee - Hydra is such a rock handler for Superfly. Just playing her at Regionals she had an amazing layout caught D up-the-line. Not only that, she is such a huge playmaker and at the same time being a really composed and focused handler.

Shayla “Dozer” Harris - Yet another huge playmaker on this team. She has major hops and great defense. Always a player we have to have a matchup on.

Julia Butterfield - It was so fun having Julia join the Southwest region. Even when we (Cal) played Notre Dame last year at Northwest Challenge, I remember her just dominating the field with layouts and great grabs everywhere as a senior on that team. And even as a new player to Superfly she did not disappoint and has integrated so well with that program.

Alyssa “Tattoo” Perez - Whenever we play USC, we have to make sure we always have Tattoo covered. She is such a quick cutter with big throws and it definitely is always a workout when guarding her.

Cal Poly SLO:
Danielle “Sparky” Tran - Gave us a lot of trouble in our first game against them at Regionals. She is a great cutter who burns everyone deep, a reliable receiver able to catch any disc, and solid thrower.

Cal: (I am biased and restrained myself from putting the whole roster here)
Anna Wysen - One of the offensive hubs on our team who is super reliable with the disc and makes great decisions. She is able to basically walk through zones and hit any open receiver down field.

Allegra Mayer - A literal running machine who will definitely run you into the ground if you guard her. On top of her amazing cuts she also is dangerous with the disc because she can bomb a perfect flick huck 50+ yards downfield and even acts as our 4th handler back in zone O.

Tania Lin - A silent yet deadly thrower on the field. She can literally throw through any defense you put on her. Whether it’s a super low release throw, over the top, or huck to receivers you didn’t even think were open, Tania is a beast.

This is Hani Pajela, UCSB’s actual #0. And rip, this is a long post (sorry). To preface, we easily have one of the deepest regions, and Southwest would probz wreck if All-Region teams were to actually play each other. We certainly have more than 14 elite players in our region, but I admittedly did a poop job gathering names/matching names to people. Anyway, here is me expanding on a few of standouts from some other teams but mostly shamelessly recognizing some of my teammates.

First of all (and unsurprisingly), I’m gonna push for Sam Fontaine and Ronnie Eder for COTY(s). They have been so dedicated to this team and have put in so much work to establish systems and develop us as players. It has been incredible to watch them foster success on a team composed of athletic girls who, except for me, have never played club frisbee so according to The Klaw “have no business being good at frisbee.” Despite the burden our top players carry, Sam and Ronnie have supported and developed every player on our team into improving their skills and loving the game even more. I’m confident that UCSB is going to be p dang good in future years too. It’d feel like too egregious snub, however, to not recognize the UCSD coaches as well. Their team is a super disciplined and well-oiled machine. I’ve seen UCSD a few times in the past couple of years; it seems fair to say that the process of building an elite program is complete.

Michelle McGhee: We didn’t play Stanford that much, but she is a a great player overall. In the times we played them, I noticed her reliability, nasty io flick breaks, solid defensive prowess, and clutch grabs.

Kobe: It seems like she can match up on basically anyone. Her speed, awareness, and sick layouts come in big for her team. I think we only played Cal twice, but she stood out to me. Stellar Callahan video too.

Thalia: If this girl’s name doesn’t appear on some list soon, that’d be pretty ridiculous. She should win FOTY and honestly should be in the conversation for the All-Region team as well. Throughout the entire season (in the probably 345823546 times we’ve played SLO), she was a solid player: made great decisions, delivered some dimes, and wasn’t afraid to take the tough matchups on defense for her team. Also, she threw one of the best hammers I’ve seen in the game-to-go.

Kelli Iwamoto: Her dope breaks and give-and-gos make her really tough to guard. She is a quick and super creative handler that can break you with ease even when you know it’s coming. I recognized her from the few times that I played UCSD when I played for Chicago. It’s impressive how much she has improved, how big of a role she has taken on, and how she still is playing next year.

Homepalz from UCSB
I’m surprised that our two captains (Nickee and Audrey) have yet to be mentioned. Not only are they phenomenal players, I can confirm they are also A+ humans. They both played incredibly at regionals, coming down with seemingly impossible grabs when we needed it the most. But, in addition to that, their resilience, positivity, and inspired playing pulled UCSB through many moments that probably determined the difference between a good season and the best season UCSB has had in a long time.
Audrey Brown: Speedy and tenacious smolgurl who lays out all the time. In addition to generating a bunch of turns on defense, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her not catch a falling disc within 1.67 Audreys away horizontally. She is always grinding and is an extremely smart player, knowing how to play to her teammates’ strengths.
Nicci Sun: Super athletic cutter who only falls sometimes. Nikē moves the disc really well and has stupid good hops and vision. Occasionally she casually whips out a flick bomb that could bring tears to the eyes of any person who remotely appreciates beauty. Nikdawg has showed consistency and selflessness on and off the field, and someone will have to step up big time next year to fill her shoes.
Kaitlyn Weaver: V versatile player. She got some big girl throws and has the athleticism to be productive basically anywhere on the field. Watch out for her in the next couple years — I could see her being a POTY-type player in the future.
Julia “THE KLAAAW” Kwasnick: Don’t be deceived by her adorbz dimples. She might actually be a monster considering how frequently she makes ridiculously absurd plays look easy. Absolute no brainer for All-Region First Team.

For the All-Freshman team, I’d encourage y’all to consider Leah Forester and Felicia Cruz. These girls have already proved themselves, earning play time on points where they might be the only non-vets there. On the field, Leah uses her athleticism and awareness to get open on experienced players, come down with big skies, and/or find herself all alone in the endzone. On the sideline, she usually has the loudest voice and the biggest smile out of everyone. Apparently she works at a summer camp and you can totally tell. Her presence has helped our team in so many ways. Felicia is an integral part of our zone and already has taken on a handler role. She is a high-utility competitor with great instincts and decision-making. Once on an upwind d-point in the game to go to the game to go, she was our main handler on the field for that point: we almost got a surprise break in that dumb frikin wind largely due to her playing. Honestly, I had been struggling in the wind and was str8 starstuck.