Who are the best players in the Atlantic Coast region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.
Commenting from the last few seasons coaching with Catholic University of America Nun Betta .
Last year, Mary Massacre showed a deep well of potential, and this year I was not surprised that they earned the bid. The coaching of Mary Beth Moody and Jacob Smith has had clear impact on this team, rising from the 5th place team in 2017 to 1st in 2019. The team has had strong recruiting classes, and the size of the roster has grown over the last few years. I was most impressed with the team’s depth. There are key leaders on the field; however, there are a number of players I don’t have names for that clinched the hard-earned bid for Nationals. I feel like it is an injustice and my personal failure to be unable to call out more of you by name (alas, it is human to err). You all are doing great work, and Catholic LOVES playing you.
Leslie Pullen and Sarah Hood-Recant are key players behind the disc. The dump/swing/use of the width of the field made me want to cry with joy. Mary Massacre can push the disc deep as well as generate energy through first look small ball. Grace Stephan actually flies through the air. She marked up on some of our key cutters, and she pulled down deep shots and 50/50s with reliability.
The Red Hots earn their fiery name. While Catholic took half 8-2, I commend this team for having a strong second half and their dedication to the game, which brought them back to finish the game at a much closer 13-7. And for anyone who has ever played, I’ll say this is the kind of game where the score doesn’t necessarily reflect how close it felt.
Shoutouts to Rhiannon Begley, Mimi Tran, and Allison Zhang for their gritty play. Again, I apologize as I didn’t keep my notes from the weekend, there is also a tall player from Richmond wearing a penny in the semis who was working incredibly hard.
Shamelessly, I have a very soft spot for this team since working with senior Caroline Tsui on a piece for Ultiworld a few years ago. I have seen them grow from their first tournament (savage!) in 2016 to an established program in the division. They have Anna Slade as a coach, who I greatly respect and admire. Building a program takes hard work, leadership, and love, and I can tell this team has all of it.
For play, Caroline Tsui was the first person to pick up the disc and took the hardest matchups. Her development evinces her passion for the game, and her growth demonstrates her work ethic. I commend her willingness to put up hucks, hammers, and all matter of throws to keep things spicy. Lots of applause to the senior class Sarah Edmonds, Angelica Jennings, and Erin Smith for all of their work to create this program.
The last time I had a chance to see Davidson DUFF, it was last season, and coach Sharon Crawford had a small, dedicated group at Commonwealth. While I continue to be the worst and not have notes on players, I want to say I thought this the game at confregionals was a great showing. Again, the team had very few subs, and they really committed to every point. They communicated well in their zone defense set, and they were willing to take calculated risks.
CUA did not get to play Elon this year, but I had a chance to watch them play during the mud-disaster of Commonwealth Cup. I believe I spied Olivia Ford leading Wild Rumpus through the standing water of Axton.
UNC Asheville and Goucher
These teams had lower numbers rostered through the season. I want to say thank you for all the work you did to participate in the division, and I send you the best wishes for recruiting classes in future years. See you next season!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to share some love from the team I’ve had the honor of coaching the last four years.
Emily “Yams” McGuire (Sr, Cap; DIII AC First Team 2018): Will throw a flick huck to a corner like it’s her job. I trusted her to play nearly every point. She led this team to two tournament wins (Huckin’ and Shuckin’ and Towsontown Throwdown). I’m incredibly proud of her commitment to developing her game and the way she comports herself on the field.
Katie O’Brien (Sr, Cap; DIII AC First Team 2018): She busts hard on the field. As a captain, she’s been the center of energy for the team, capable of creating a groundswell of energy when the team needs it the most. Her throwing range has improved dramatically this year, and she’s able to balance risk/reward. Hates oranges.
Maddy Demaret (Sr): Despite taking a year off to study abroad, Maddy returned with a vengeance this season. I tear up every time she throws a scoober. She crushed her goal of handling for “at least one point this season” as she became a reliable back field presence with the ability to throw deep and generate handler movement to retain possession. She also learned how to “play tall” which as someone who is 5’0" I really appreciate.
Anne “AP Exam” Perry (Sr.): I don’t know if I’ve seen more drive from a player than I’ve seen from AP. She learned to channel her athleticism into being a shutdown handler defender and earned her place as one of the prime initiating cutters. She has a desire to learn about the game- rules, strategy, and I’ve loved watching her grow since she was Rookie of the Year in 2016.
Lauren Coene (Jr.): Lauren operates in stealth mode. She generates turns by strategically baiting incuts, strong defensive positioning in the air, and using her formidable wingspan to earn handblocks. On offense, I’ve looked to her as an intuitive and reliable cutter.
Victoria “Smalls” Kirkman (Jr.): While she earns her nickname through her stature, don’t think that it reflects her status on the field. Smalls has incredible hands and can make catches in all manner of traffic. Her seemingly casual run-through Ds and ability to use her speed against handlers earns her prime stature on offense or defense.
Liz Shoemaker (Jr.; DIII AC Second Team 2018): Liz has been a key hybrid for Nun Betta. She’s a Swiss-Army knife on offense with quick feet upline and the power to push the disc deep. She is quick on her feet and will generate assists and goals for Nun Betta on a consistent basis.
Abby Grabowski (So.; DIII AC Second Team 2018): This is not to create pressure, only to establish my personal belief in this player- Abby Grawboski has the power to become the top player in the region. Earning second team status in her freshman year, she has the speed and power on offense to beat anyone under or deep. Her development as a player has been a joy and an honor to witness- I can see her improving her throws, field awareness, and defensive positioning.
Fran Giardina (So.) : FRAN has grown tremendously over this season. I’ve been delighted to see her grow her handling skills- from throws, to cuts, to being a commanding presence on the field. Perhaps it is strange to say I believe her personality is very tailored to ultimate, but I’m going to. Duck: Water; Fran: Ultimate. The end.
Bella Mullaney (Fr.): Bella has an athletic depth and is wonderfully coachable. I hope I get to continue to coach her for years to come to see where her potential takes her.
Simone Fera (Fr.): This scrappy former hockey player has impressed me tremendously with her grit. In the past, I’ve bribed players with “ice cream for layouts;” however, Simone has asserted herself on the field in a way that makes me excited for the seasons to come.