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All-Region 2019: Great Lakes (D-I Women's)

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

Anna McCurklan and Amanda Decker from Michigan State.

Now, admittedly, I have not been able to watch much Great Lakes ultimate this year, and so I don’t know where to place these two in comparison to others in the region. I’m throwing their names out there solely on how much talent these two have and how dominant I think they have the potential to be.

Anna is a top level thrower and field general. Beyond the actual skills she has, she manages to do everything so calmly and make it look so casual, that it inspires confidence as a teammate. A team playing confidently will be able to put out its best performance which speaks to how effective she is as a captain. She is the rock MSU is built around this year. We’ve seen glimpses of what MSU can do this spring and I’m looking forward to seeing how tough they play teams at regionals.

Amanda has only been playing for 2 years I believe. Last year people knew her as the athlete with braids from MSU. This year she is still going to be the most athletic player on the field but has developed a lot more as a well rounded player. She is a fierce competitor and is a nightmare matchup. Both at regionals and in the club season this summer, I’m sure she’s going to be making a name for herself.

-Dan Donovan

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Maddie Galvin from Notre Dame Womb for All-Freshman. She’s got excellent throws, vision, and athleticism and landed herself as one of Womb’s starting handlers–and one of Womb’s most valuable players–this year, which is an impressive honor for a freshman on a perennially top team in the region.

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Played with Maddie while she was in high school (I’m a year under her). She’s such an amazingly talented player. She deserves the recognition. I’m so glad she’s continuing to do well in college!

Full Disclosure: I coach Michigan State.

However, echoing @DanD8 here in terms of Anna McClurkan (#9) and Amanda Decker (#22). They’ve been huge players for us the past two years, but this year especially both of them have really out-performed all of their matchups.

This is only her second year of playing ultimate, but no one has been able to match Amanda’s speed and intensity on the field in our region, or on any team we have played this year. She is constantly grinding and has stepped up in a big way this year as a developing thrower.

Anna has continued to shine year after year, but this year she has absolutely been the rock of our team. Whenever we need it, she is there to make the hard throws, and has the ability to put the disc almost anywhere on the field she wants.

I would also like to shout out MSU’s Sarah Angold-Stevens (#69) as an absolute wrecking-ball of a defender and one of our most effective players on every side of the disc.

I could go on for hours about my team because I really believe they’ve accomplished incredible things this year and I’m excited to get out to regionals, but I’ll leave it there for now.

Other than that, I would like to nominate Flywheel’s Megan Gordon. I first got to know Megan on Hybrid a few years ago and I was always impressed with how mature she played, but she has REALLY stepped up her game since then. What impresses me most about her now is her agility as well as her throwing ability. Her ability to come into and out of a cut was incredible to see in our game against Flywheel at EGL CC and was difficult for many players to stop. She was always a good thrower, but having not seen her play much in the last year, she really killed it in the games I watched at EGL CC.

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If Sarah Kim (Northwestern) doesn’t win POTY this whole sport is a scam.


Returning players from last year’s all-region teams:

1st team:
Sarah Kim – Northwestern
Hindeke Tewodros – Northwestern

2nd Team:
Sarah Helding – DePaul
Amy Copper – Illinois
Phoebe Hopp – Michigan
Laura Soter – Michigan
Sara Gnolek – Northwestern (torn ACL @ U24 tryouts, hasn’t played this season to my knowledge)

Players rostered on club women’s nationals qualifying teams:
Tia Esposito (Michigan/Rival)
Sarah Kim (Northwestern/Nemesis)
Sara Gnolek (Northwestern/Heist)

Cassandra Brown and Madison Moore (both Chicago Supersnatch) were also practice players for Nemesis last year.

U24 players:
Sarah Kim (Northwestern) will be playing on the USA U24 women’s team this coming summer in Germany.

Megan Gordon (Michigan) and Sara Gnolek (Northwestern) were also invited to tryout but were not rostered.


Going to echo Draco here. I haven’t watched them play much this year but the MSU women’s team is doing great things. I have played with the three women that Draco has nominated and they are all ballers.

Special shoutout to Amanda Decker though, while last year she had a lot of straightline speed, this year she has improved immensely and combine that with timing, great throws and a mind for the game. I wouldn’t want to cover Deck in a game, and so happy to see her work at Ultimate paying off with recognition.

Being one of Purdue’s captains, I first wanted to say that this has been an incredibly fun season to play and all teams brought such great competition this year. Shout out to Ball State whom we’ve played many times this season; it’s super impressive how far they’ve gotten with the size of their team.

With that, I’d like to nominate a few from my team. Katherine Schauer is a senior and all around just a great player. Her hucks and throws are extremely consistent and powerful. Her speediness combined with her amazing field awareness has done great things for our defense. Overall just a reliable player!

Lauren Kitten is a freshman handler and she is known for making huge plays for our offense. Her throws are consistent in any weather condition and her deep shots are always a huge threat. She’s known for always wearing a red bucket hat on the field and I’ve heard opposing teams talking about how good red hat is.

With that, a huge shout out to our coaches, Jackie Lai and Darien Rodriguez. Jackie is from Indy and Darien has a crazy busy schedule as a final year vet student, but both have made great efforts to come to practices that they can as well as call in for meetings. Their dedication to our team was unreal this year, and with our team being much larger than previous years, they were a huge part of our successful season.

-Jhoanna Sadural

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Just want to vouch specifically for Lauren Kitten from Purdue. She has been an absolute force in the few games i have seen. She should definitely be considered for FOTY

Hi all! I am one of the captain’s for Menace and wanted to throw a couple of names in from some of the Illinois’ teams:

Depaul- Sarah helding handler/cutter. She can place a throw about anywhere she wants it on the field. throwing through zones and person-to-person defense
Talia Brewer a tall and speedy cutter who has stepped into a handler position this year

Illinois- Amy Cooper a 5th year handler, you probably know her for her great hucks and grounding Menace’s O-line
Cora Wessman a 5th year cutter who jump-starts the offense
Britt Gorman a grad studentwith fast cuts and great defensive skills
Freshman Vanessa Tran is a quick handler with great throws and quick handler movement (FOTY)
Louisa Rouge-Jones a new addition to menace, she is a grad student handler with great throws in windy conditions

Madison Moore She’s got the throws, the cuts and amazing defensive skills. She is an all-around amazing player

Loyola: Sam Swank: she is an aggressive cutter that is never afraid to layout

Northwestern: Sara Kim: Her defensive skills are impeccable and on offensive her quick play is central to NW
Grace Goulson: great handler with amazing up-wind throws and quick strike cuts

I am sure I missed a couple of people, particularly players who’s names I don’t know!

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As a captain of UChicago, I wanted to take a moment to mention some players who (imo) deserve recognition.

Emily Pardo and Bayle Smith are two freshmen who have stepped into big roles this season. As our only freshman handler, Pardo was thrown into a huge role and has worked so hard and improved so much throughout the year. She has quickly become a dependent and consistent member of our d-line. She is a player who gives 110% on and off the field, and always has a smile on her face.

Bayle is a speedy cutter with great field vision and a great forehand (she was throwing assists and hucks at our very first tournament). Like Pardo, Bayle has also stepped into a big role on our o-line, but we can count on her to consistently get open and make great grabs.

Madison Moore-Madison really stepped it up this year. As a defender, Madison is always taking on the toughest matchups and shutting down top cutters on other teams. On offense, she is consistently open and makes some amazing layout grabs. Even though she was perpetually injured for most of the year, we could always count on Madison to be a playmaker.

Molly O’Donnell-after cutting for two years, Molly stepped into a handler role this season and killed it. Her defense is stifling both on cutters and handlers, and she is always taking on and winning tough matchups. Molly has become a great utility player and makes a huge impact for our team on both sides of the disc.

Jessica Hanlon-Jessie is such a consistent cutter. She is speedy, makes great grabs, and is always open when you need a bailout. An all around solid player.

Watch out for Caitlyn Tien. Caitlyn has been playing ultimate for less than two years and is already a top player for our team. She came in with a lot of athletic talent, but this year she greatly improved her throws and has quickly become a playmaker. Can’t wait to see what she does in the future.

On northwestern

Sarah Kim is an elite level player and playmaker for northwestern. She has great throws, great grabs, and great defense.

Grace Young-one of the main cutters for NW. She’s great in the air, and has some truly amazing layout d’s

I also wanted to shout out our coach, Ryan Watson. His presence has made a world of difference for Chicago. We had one of the best season in program history and I have no doubt that Watson is largely responsible.

From Illinois:

Brittney Gorman- one of Illinois’s captains and a terror on defense. She is a staple in the Illinois set defenses and takes on the other teams’ best players every time. Not to mention her incredible cuts. After shutting down her girl on D, she will take the first cut and get the Illinois offense moving. She leads by example and has been an amazing captain. The definition of a workhorse

Cora Wessman- another captain on Illinois and 5th year player for Menace. She really took charge of Illinois set plays and scored a large majority of Illinois’s points. Her quick moves and easy flick make her a danger on offense both cutting and throwing. She also has heads up defense and impeccable field awareness making any throw into the Illinois zone a dangerous one

Amy Copper- the third of Illinois’s captains and very notable on the field. Shes got spicy break throws and her hucks will sail over even the best defenses. She also really stepped up on handler D this year and was another staple in the Illinois defensive sets. This is her third year captaining Menace and we have really grown with her at the helm

Vanessa Tran- I guarantee people would see this girl play and not realize shes a freshman. Very strong FOTY candidate She easily secured spot as a handler on the Illinois starting line and will win nearly every disk in the air. She gets run through D after run through D and even got a callahan this year as a freshman. No doubt she will be a staple on Illinois for the the next 3 years

Notable mention goes to Luisa Rouge-Jones. She was only on Illinois for a few months but made her mark right away. Solid handler and can pull the disc almost full field.

From Northwestern:

Sara Kim:- Not much needs to be said here. Basically if the disc is in the air and it is coming her way, 90% chance she will catch it no matter how many players are around her

Grace Goulson- Super solid player for Northwestern. Super hard to get open on and even if you somehow manage to do it, you bet she will be laying out to try to get the D anyway.

From Chicago:

Madison Moore:- just overall a great athlete. She has the types of cuts that will make her defender spin around wondering where she went and her defense is on point. Trying to getting open on her is exhausting and will make you need a nap

From Purdue:

Katherine Schauer- Just a really solid player. From the few times I’ve played her, she is quick and super consistent in nearly everything she does. Really an asset to the Purdue team

From Depaul:

Sarah Helding- In my opinion this player is an anchor to the DePaul team. Her throws are on point and can break almost any zone. Also super solid on defense and great in the air

All region

Hello I’m another captain of UChicago:

On our team:

First I want to mention our coach, Ryan Watson . This is his second year with our program, and he has completely transformed our team in terms of discipline and disc skills. He is so dedicated to making us better, and really deserves recognition.

Molly O’Donnell - Molly plays with her whole heart and is an extremely dangerous defender. Catch her getting hand blocks all day, and shutting down both handlers and cutters

Cassandra Brown - Cassie has incredible throws that our offense really built off of, and she’s great at shredding zones

Jessie Hanlon - Jessie has had a chronic injury literally for four years, but from the beginning has remained a consistent, fast, and smart O cutter.

Gianna Sparks - Sparky is such a great teammate and disciplined player. She always does what you need her to

Caitlyn Tien and Daisy Barbanel - both are returning cutters who both take tough match-ups on D, and are constantly open on O — watch out for them next year

Michigan State:

Amanda Decker - she was an extremely fast and athletic cutter. Aggressive on the field and made some great grabs


Sarah Kim - Skim and I were often marked up on each other and she is a ton of fun to play. She’s dangerous with the disc in her hand and an incredible player all around

Grace Young - Grace is a great defender and great in the air; a tough matchup

Catherine (Cat) Chen from Northwestern should be FOTY. After playing Devyl YCC, she immediately played a starting handler role for Gungho. She has excellent throws, beautiful bids, and is consistently strong on offense and defense. Cat is a playmaker and has been an integral part of the team’s success this year.

Hey y’all, I’m a player on UChicago and just wanted to put my opinions on players from the region

1st team:

Sarah Kim (POTY): Skim is easily one of the best if not the best overall player in the Great Lakes Region. She’s got the athleticism, throws, and frisbee IQ to be one of the best players in the country. Very dangerous on both sides of the disc and able to be a pivotal member of both Northwestern’s offense and defense.
Madison Moore: Very good flex and is able to be dangerous with both the disc in her hands and cutting to get open. Embodies true leadership on UChicago Ultimate and uses her skillset to make her teammates better. Even while chronically injured, she was able to effective get open on her matchups and made really good athletic plays while also being able to give great continues to other downfield cutters. Amazing all around player and an obvious pick for 1st team.
Grace Young: Great in the air, really good defensive intensity and makes pretty good layout D’s. She was able to read the disc in a way that allows her to get those good skies and put her in good body position to make a play
Jessie Hanlon Somehow always gets open, knows exactly the spots where to cut and has very good timing on all of her cuts. She’s a great downfield target that knows how to be smart with the disc.
ND Cutter I don’t know her name but I know she was wearing a lion costume while playing on Sunday of Regionals. Very good primary cutter that also does well with the disc in her hands and was for sure part of the success of ND at regionals this year.

2nd Team:

TC Burrows Very athletic cutter and an overall solid player. Definitely gives ND a good veteran cutter to rely on.
Sarah Helding While DePaul didn’t make it to regionals, Sarah Helding is still one of the best throwers in the region. While at DePaul she’s put a lot of the offensive load on her back being both a great handler and a great initiation cutter for their offense.
Amy Copper Very solid overall handler who has also shouldered a decent amount of offensive load for Illinois. She’s got great hucks that open up the Illinois offense and is an overall spirited player.
Ball State Primary Handler Unfortunately I don’t know her name, but she had really good throws and fakes and was a very smart offensive handler. She didn’t take unnecessary shots, which shows great player discipline and high frisbee IQ
Molly O’Donnell Plays with her heart and soul every point and lifts her teammates up especially when they’re feeling down. She stepped into a Handler role for the first time this year and was an incredible D-line presence as well as cutting on the O-line.
Caitlyn Tien Super athletic cutter who was very important on both the O-line and the D-line. She has increased her game exponentially since last year and improving her throws so that she was not only a great cutter getting open for the disc, she was able to throw good continues and be both an initiation cutter and a downfield cutter all season.

There are obviously way more people that can be recognized, but these were just some few that stood out to me.

(uchicago player here)

Ryan Watson is incredibly deserving of COTY imo - he volunteers a ridiculous amount of time for Supersnatch each week and was instrumental in our team’s success at regionals this year. Have never met someone more passionate about the sport and sharing it with others.

some of the people i think are good:

madison moore
cassandra brown
daisy barbanel
grace young
sarah helding
amy copper
ball state’s primary handler
notre dame player in the lion costume
#22 michigan state

All freshmen:

purdue girl in the rainbow shorts/red hat
emily pardo

Hey fam!
I should be writing my thesis to graduate, but this is more imporant. I’ve been in this region playing for Menace for 5 years (oof), but that means I have some pretty strong opinions about the talent in the area. Here they are:

Cora Wessman: ridiculous consistency at such a high caliber. Scored probably close to 1/3 of our points as the iso this year. Incredible lockdown defense. Menace is really going to miss her next year.
Britt Gorman: an incredible athlete who has taken the toughest defensive matchups every point of each tournament. Aggressive in the air and gets a stupid amount of separation on her women. I consider her to be the core of our defense.

Molly O’Donnell: My goodness, she’s a pain in the ass to guard. She has an excellent active mark and is a central cutter in Chicago’s stellar offense. She came back this year from a break, and it was so clear how much weight she carries for the team. She deserves credit for her contribution to their team.
Cass Brown: Incredible variety and distance on her throws, even in shitty ass midwestern weather. Athlete who knows how to make intelligent defensive layout plays. Very talented player.

Madison Moore: God damn she can play.

Sarah Helding: While DePaul didn’t make it to regionals this year, Sarah is easily one of the best players in the region. Everyone knows she has dirty throws, but something that hasn’t been said yet is how athletic she is in the air- she just comes down with everything. At sectionals this year, Menace just decided that whoever Sarah was guarding on the field should just clear because that’s how impactful her defense is.

Sarah Kim: I don’t think I need to elaborate

Sara Gnolek: I don’t think she played until halfway through our bracket play game against NW at reggies, but when she walked on the field she was single-handedly shredding our cup with hammers and sweet break throws.

Ball State:
Soto: I’m pretty sure that’s the primary handler that’s everyone is talking about. She’s a lefty handler with every throw you can think of


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Michigan Player here,

From other regional teams:

Skim: Could catch anything thrown at her. Amazing defensive intensity and great all around player
#44 I think - tall cutter : Big catches and layouts. Great defensive player.
Sara Gnolek: Could throw anything she wanted to. Great handler motion.

Notre Dame:
Meg Cullen : Great and solid handler - plays very calm and keeps the disc alive.
KJ : Makes tons of amazing catches. Gritty defensive player.

Michigan State:
Amanda Decker : Super fast, great throws, defensive threat.
Anna McClurkan: Great catches, reliable handler

Some shoutouts from our team:

Megan Gordon #27: Massive in the air. Great deep hucks. Works super hard on the field to keep possession. Creates tons of separation from her defender as a cutter.

Laura Soter #11: Our Callahan nominee. Super gritty player - amazing bids and willingness to throw(and make) deep shots. Superb cutter and defender.

Nicole Kleinsorge 17: Can throw basically any throw/ make any catch, hand block machine, defensive powerhouse. Huge layouts on both d and o. One of my favorite people to watch on the field.

Phoebe Hopp #77: Amazing defensive player - When I first saw her play, she toed the line for a score and it was one of the most hype plays I’ve ever seen. Super reliable cutter.

Casey Singler #5: Absolute machine on O and D. Has hands for days and willing to put her body on the line for the disc. She’s got the grit on defense and is super clean and reliable on O.

Hannah “Jam” Cheng #35 : One of our core handlers and can make amazing throws and bids to keep possession. All around a powerful player - amazing defensive intensity.

Zoe Engle #69 : Already can throw well placed throws - will one day be a great handler for flywheel.
Naomi Kantor #36 : Has a motor for days, always streaking deep.
Hanna Schechter #0 : Solid handler and great in a zone.
Shannon Lau #6 : Hasn’t played this year due to a concussion but is already an integral part of the team. She’s very much appreciated for all the filming she has done for the team. Will one day be a part of our cutting core.

and shoutout to our coaches - Ben Murphy Joe Besser and Meg Duffy : All of them have tons of ultimate IQ and encourage us to become our own players and truly understand the game. They all have very busy schedules and we are very grateful for the time they take out of their lives to help us become better ultimate players and people.

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Walden Nelson for coach of the year - able to motivate our team to change the direction of a game, holds us to a very high standard, helped coach our team to nationals this year, overall frisbee genius. Our team has immense respect for him and it motivates us to play our best.

Catherine Chen for freshman of the year - throws are already on point with our best handlers, takes on whatever role is needed for her, makes smart and calculated plays, adapts well to playing with different people, exemplifies “spirit of the game”, always positive and encouraging even when the team is down, just a great person to have as a teammate. I know she’ll be a great leader for Gungho in the coming years.