Who are the best players in the Metro East region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.
Coach award has to go to Chelsea Leeder of U-Albany’s Deception. To see how far she has taken that team is incredible. Deception is off to Regionals for a second year in a row under her guidance.
Speaking to Deception’s leadership, Captain Sarah Thoman deserves all the recognition. She missed Saturdays games at Sectionals and Deception was a completely different team. She is the heartbeat of that team and when she is on the field, she is untouchable. My team noted how every throw she makes, no matter where she is on the field, falls perfectly in her teammates hands.
All region nominations:
Oliva Woodruff - phenomenal deep deep and handler. Got in the way of any deep throw and wasn’t afraid to boost it at the right time
Sarah Bright - great cuts, the offense worked through her especially near the end zone
Sarah Thomann- amazing hucks Prettiest throws at sectionals by far. A really tough person to guard as well
Ariana Ambrosio: one of the main handlers for stony brook, not afraid to huck it. Definitely a shooter
Candace Haskell main handler for stony brook poised in any and all zones, extremely reliably throws to any and all in cuts; very reliable on defense
Sarah Thomann (SUNY Albany) definitely legit. She has a lot of responsibility, but as a really impressive arsenal.
Don’t know her name, but #88 on Princeton had some insane bombs against us at Conferences. Just picturesque hucks.
Yuge Xiao and #36 on Columbia were the two best players I saw at EME Conferences. Quick, intelligent, Xiao dealt with a lot of different things we threw at her and #36 had a dynamic set of break throws.
Yara El-Katib (Yale) is also a wonderful handler and leader for them. She makes her teammates better with her level of execution and effort offensively.
Looking forward to see more of everyone at Regionals. From UConn, pay attention to Caroline “Carl” Anastasia (#30) and Risa Lewis (fast blonde, # escapes me). Carl is our rock in the backfield, works her butt off. Risa is a machine at getting run through blocks, cuts and handles for us, just really blazing speed and aggressive instincts.
-Keith, UConn Coach
For All-Freshman, I have to highlight UConn freshman Caroline Eldridge (#25). She’s recognizable as the really tall one. She has been top three in both goals and blocks for us all season, a really pesky mark who generates a lots of blocks and makes really tough catches offensively.
UAlbany Deception’s coach Chelsea Leeder definitely deserves the coach award. Through her dedication to the team, Deception has grown in numbers and in skill. Before Deception had a coach the team thought regional’s was out of reach, but with her help the team is going to regional’s for the second time in a row.
Another UAlbany player, Corinne Berchtold, is worthy of the title of All-Freshman. As a cutter, she has improved exponentially throughout the season and has scored many points for the team during games. At sectionals, she stepped up and out of her comfort zone and handled. Before the tournament she spent time watching handler videos on youtube to ensure that she was more comfortable in the new role. It will be exciting to see her develop more as a player in the following seasons and it is apparent how much she has already helped the team during her first year playing.
Coach- U-Albany’s. She has taken that team to places they have never been before. Freshman year, Albany was the easy team to play- not anymore.
Sarah Thomann- Totally untouchable on the field. Smart with the disc, she’ll kill you on offense and kill you on defense.
Iris- played her for years. She is hard to play on offense and defense.
Oliva Woodruff- could not get one disc past her when she played deep deep. She’s also a great handler. Very patient with the disc but will also suck it when necessary. Seemed like they run their offense through her.
Kelly- don’t know her last name but she’s been around for awhile. Similar to Olivia, she is hard to beat as deep deep. Makes a big play on defense as deep then cuts deep for a huck.
Candace Haskell- played her on club teams. She is a poised handler and played deep deep. Made some big plays on defense and broke our zone easily. Seems to be the main handler for Stony Brook
All-Freshmen: SUNY Albany’s Corinne Berchtold is a promising new player. Her ability to read the field is astounding and her throws have improved exponentially since the beginning of the year (her hammers are looking phenomenal). As a rookie, she is already one of Albany’s top offensive and defensive players. During sectionals she was able to guard seasoned vets and successfully shut them down. I look forward to seeing how she grows as a player!
Disclaimer: I play for Columbia
All-region: Yuge Xiao has already been mentioned here a couple times but she’s definitely deserving of another all-region award. Yuge’s incredibly fast, has insanely good throws, and is also really spirited. Super lucky to have her as my teammate.
Vivian Shen: another super speedy and aggressive player. Vivian often takes the hardest defensive matchup and gets crazy run-through Ds. Also dope layouts.
All-freshman: Julia Simmons super fast and also has great throws. Super excited to see her develop.
Aviva Weinbaum: seamlessly become an O-line handler. Really beautiful throws.
For non-Columbia players:
Cornell: Sami (?) is a really good defender and cutter and handler. Had a really fun battle when we played them.
Yale: Yara was a really strong handler and defender. Also, Amelia (?) got some really excellent blocks.
Megan Ma - she took on a lot of responsibility last year as a freshmen and seeing how much she has progressed as a player this year is insane and she deserves this recognition. She’s only a sophomore.
Sarah Bright - The offense runs through Sarah whenever she is on the field. Never tired, can always play 100% each time she’s on the field
Olivia Woodruff - she’s already been acknowledged in this thread but just wanna put her name out again. She’s awesome
Hebah Syed - Super fast, always in the right place at the right time. She’s been playing for not even a year and has textbook layouts and destroys in the endzone
Yuge Xiao - I love watching her play. Such a force for Columbia. She can legit do everything
Irene - Solid handler that has such a low release point that it’s pretty much unguardable.
Olivia - Solid handler as well. I saw one point where she chased down her person and got a SICK D in the endzone.
Sarah T - everyone summed her up in this thread. So good.
Julia - Solid handler, great to play against, huuuuge pulls
Also just wanna shout out SUNY New Paltz. New to the section and really showed promising growth. I’m so excited to see how they’ll be in a few years.
Disclaimer: Coach of Yale
Julia Mankoff: A powerhouse on Yale’s offensive line with her break throws and hucks. Scores consistently with the disc (we’ve actually banned her from scoring at practice because she scores so often). Has monster pulls. Great read on the disc as a deep-deep in our zone.
Yara El-Khatib: A critical element for our success on D. Has awesome layout Ds at critical moments. Very patient offensive handling. As a sophomore this year and one of the team captains, she has proven her value to the Yale team both on and off the field.
Amelia Farinas: Excellent defender- specializing in run-through Ds. Her quick popping in our ho-stack is a huge asset and her read on the disc in the deep space brings our offense to the next level.
Yuge- excellent read of the disc on both O and D; predicting plays, getting Ds and running Columbia’s offense, she is a force to reckon with.
** SUNY Albany**
Sarah Thomann- Awesome player all around. Great defense and offense- she does it all. Has great hucks, excellent deep-deep positioning on D and quick handler motion with an unbeatable first-step start after throwing.
Chelsea Leeder from SUNY Albany- dedicated to advancing women’s ultimate in Albany through her creation of the club women’s team Boomslang which gave the SUNY Albany and local female players an opportunity to play club women’s ultimate where there was no women’s team previously. She has done a ton for the development of women’s ultimate in Albany.
Stazi Tangherlini with Columbia- Has great strategy in critical moments. Her team is full of well-rounded players with excellent fundamentals.
Alright, UConn coach here, and got a chance to see most everyone mentioned here in some form. About to give you what my ballot would look like.
Before I do, let me again plug Caroline Eldridge for All-Freshman. Led us in goals at Regionals and did not have a single turnover. Here’s a photo of her so you know who she is.
Yuge Xiao (Columbia) - Best player in the region.
“Sprite” (Cornell) - Dunno her name, but impressive handler.
Sami Smalling (Cornell) - So versatile, tough matchup.
Yara El-Khatib (Yale) - So much fun to watch, plays with a lot of heart.
Kaylee Viets (Columbia) - I know I wouldn’t want to have to mark her. (Thanks to user ssmm for the name, which I originally listed as Irene Golden)
Cassandra Jaffray (Ottawa) - Bombs away! Huge throws.
Sarah Thomann (Albany) - We all know the drill with her.
Anne-Martine Doucet (Ottawa) - Strong and consistent handler.
Sarah Bright (Rutgers) - This woman is SO FAST.
Risa Lewis (UConn) - Racked up so many blocks, excellent 1 on 1 defender. Photo of her, too.
Julia Mankoff (Yale) - When she gets going, she’s so tough to slow down.
Liz Thomas (Columbia) - She played great against us, consistent handler who could do work with her legs. (H/t user ssmm on the name, also a rookie to is obviously an easy include for All-Freshman)
Mel Sawyer (Columbia) - Athletic, really strong in the air. (Thanks to user ssmm for the name)
Sarah Zhou (Princeton) - Best deep throws I saw all season, sick pulls. [Thanks to the commenter below for the name!]
Sorry for not knowing names, I’m just getting to know the region, but these are my impressions so far!
Disclaimer: I am a senior on Princeton Clockwork’s Men’s team.
Just wanted to highlight the “Tall Dark Haired Handler with Giant Hucks" that Keith mentioned above.
Her name is Sarah Zhou.
Anybody that has seen Princeton play knows that Sarah is the lifeblood of the team. Her field vision, quickness in the handler set, defensive intensity, and spirited play are second to none. Sarah surely deserves an all-region spot — she is an absolute beast and the recognition is long overdue.
Another couple Yale highlights for All-Freshman:
Ellie Jose- Very consistent handler and cutter- she does it all. She is one of our main poppers in our ho-stack and widens the field with her impressive hucks and break throws, and is now one of our primary pullers on D line.
Another person to watch out for is Lucie Warga. She has great field positioning on offense and excellent throws.
Both players have been huge additions to our team this year.
some clarifications on columbia players: irene golden is a baller handler but not the person in that photo. that’s kaylee (squib) viets. Both of them deserve all region mentions though!
The tall cutter is Mel Sawyer, and the other photo you linked is Liz Thomas (a freshman!)
Thank you for helping me with names, @ssmm! Am I missing somehting about Kaylee Viets? Didn’t see her mentioned, but she really stood out to me in the games I watched Columbia.
I’m editing my original post.
Can vouch for both of these Rutgers rookies, Olivia Woodruff and Hebah Syed, would never have guessed they were freshmen.
Disclaimer: I play for Columbia
Players that stood out to me in our games against them. Unfortunately didn’t get to play against every team in region
Raina Kamrat (Sprite): Quick, versatile handler who is also threatening downfield, very spirited player. Had a lot of fun matching up against her in our semis game.
Sami Smalling: Great on both O and D, Cornell often looks for her to initiate movement in their ho and she has the throws to attack deep.
Audrey Fox: Cutter who played really well in our game against them, made some tough grabs and was always grinding and finding the open space
Julia “Manks” Mankoff: Dominant handler for Yale, beautiful throws and vision. Yale is a completely different team without her.
Yara El-Khatib: Quick handler who is quite effective downfield as well. Excited to see where she takes the team in the next two years.
Amelia Farinas: Tall, strong cutter who also uses her length and anticipation well in zone. Had some great D’s in our games against them.
Ivy Fan: quick cutter with solid throws, excited to see how she develops
Sarah Zhou: Princeton’s offense runs through her, great hucks and quick handler movement.
Iris: Fast cutter who initiates a lot of downfield movement, solid defender as well.
Sarah Thomann: people have already said a lot of things about her and she’s definitely worth the hype: beautifully-placed throws, fast, and really great anticipation on defense.
Sarah Bright: Quick cutter who catches everything near her and a key piece of Rutger’s offense. Also superb on defense.
Megan Ma: Handler with great inside flicks and deep throws, sees the field well
Olivia Woodruff: Tall handler with seasoned throws, excited to see her step up in the next three (!!!) years
Caroline Eldridge: As Keith has mentioned, Caroline is a great receiver, very sticky hands and has the height to come down with any jump balls. Can’t wait to see her develop in the next three (!!!) years.
SUNY Stony Brook
I don’t remember their names or numbers but two players really stood out to me in particular. First is their main cutter and deep deep (guessing her name is Kelly from previous posts). Stony Brook likes to huck and play D and she’s definitely their go-to receiver. Second is their main handler who can always get her flick huck off, crazy spin moves.
Super bummed we never ended up playing them but from what I saw in the finals they are a very smart team with disc skills that really stood out.
Now I get to talk about some of my own players (in no particular order)
As many of you might have noticed, Columbia had a very deep squad this year and I am so, so proud of everyone on this team. Pardon me if this gets too long:
Vivian Shen: Fast and gritty defender we put on the other team’s strongest player. She either 1) shuts them down or 2) generates a D. Great cutting and grabs on the turn, also insane layouts.
Olivia Korostoff-Larsson: Another tough defender who gets an insane number of run through D’s. Excellent throws and handler movement on offense. Fractured two of her fingers twice this season (didn’t play in our semis as a result) but dominant on the field when she is playing.
Melanie Sawyer: Tall, fast flex player who is extremely hard to guard: if you let her under, she’s rip a cross-field backhand and score; if you let her deep, she’ll sky or out-bid anyone to get the disc. Huge piece of our O line.
Kaylee Viets (Squib): As some have mentioned, Squib is an extremely dynamic thrower with all of the break throws in her arsenal and terrific disc placement. Her handler cuts are so hard to defend. Also mad hops #AirSquib
Emily Tiberi: A defensive cutter who never stops grinding. Her energy is contagious. Huge part of Columbia’s comeback in the semis.
Eleni Reynolds: Extremely fast defender who gets so many run-through D’s. Always open on the turn. This is only her second year playing
Irene Golden: Beautiful break throws (her release point is SO LOW) and hucks. Such a compassionate and present teammate.
Chloe Knopp: Another fiery D-line handler with fast disc movement and a nasty backhand. Sick bids.
Chandni Suresh: O line cutter who is so quick and always so open. Can beat you to the cone in sneakers.
Yes, they are rookies on this team. Be amazed and be terrified.
Aviva Weinbaum: O-line handler with beautiful throws and excellent decision-making, will calmly make her way through any zone. Not the fastest but very smart cuts in the handler space to get open.
Julia Simmons: Terrifying handler defense and will run you ragged on the turn. Has great throws and hops on O.
Liz Thomas: Our only true rookie this year and Keith thought she was an experienced player. Actually not a handler but has excellent vision and placement with her throws, plays stifling defense and can body like no other. Just a fantastic athlete all around.
Thanks for a great 4 years Metro East!!! Lots of young talent in this region, stoked to see players develop. #MetroBeast
Disclaimer: I play for Cornell. This my third year in the region and I feel like I’ve seen a lot of players/teams.
I wanted to advocate for Raina (Sprite) Kamrat for POTY. Sprite has most certainly developed into the best player in the region. She is a quick, agile handler who frequently roasts her defender upline. She also has a wide arsenal of throws that she uses to open up space on the field. I’ve handled with her for the past 3 years and I can honestly say there is no one who I enjoy working with more. Not only does she get open, but she also helps her teammates get open with perfectly placed passes.
On defense, Sprite is just as good. Her high ultimate IQ and great timing allow her to rack up poach Ds in the lane and she frequently skies people taller than her. She literally got a LAYOUT POINT BLOCK in the finals of Regionals that allowed us to break and take it to universe (and eventually win).
As a teammate, Sprite is supportive and enthusiastic. She is always working to better herself and the team, and her leadership by example this season has inspired all of us. We are so thankful for her presence on and off the field, and will have big shoes to fill next season. #SpriteforPOTY
Disclaimer: I coach Cornell Wild Roses, and have been in this region 8 years now.
Excellent job to everyone who played in one or both days of regionals this year. It looks like the above thread has had some great comments, so I’ll just add a few more here to keep the conversation going. I was really impressed with the elevated level of play at regionals this year in comparison to last year. I’m excited to see the Metro East’s talent continue to grow.
Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to play Yale, though I was impressed with their record.
Larry is a fantastic player, has excellent throws, is extremely difficult to shut down on defense, has been an unstoppable force of the EZs for quite a while now. Certainly a top 7 player in the region even though Rochester wasn’t at regionals this year.
Sarah T - lots of shout outs above, she really runs the offense for Albany
#39, #19, #11, #92 - all excellent, very dynamic, and skilled players.
Yuge - her play and accolades speak for themselves
Vivian - (i think?) - strong d-line player, generated tons of turns when we played them, very fast, excellent disc skills
(Tall reciever…? blonde hair…sorry don’t remember #s or names but she wore light blue sleeves second day of regionals) - fast, great in the air, huge offensive threat.
Sprite (Raina Kamrat) - see post above
Sami - excellent flex player, really makes our team use the spaces provided more efficiently
Dena - skilled handler, great field sense, calculated decision making
Kerrianne - reads the disc exceptionally well, top-notch defender
Soups (Annie Zhang) - aggressive defender and d-line rock
Peanut (Amy Stephens) - All Freshman nomination, jumped in handling for us this year and has done a great job
Coach of the Year
I’d like to nominate my fellow co-coach James Greeno. His dedication to our sport is unmatched by anyone I’ve met, and his attention to gender equity and promotion of female athletes across divisions of ultimate is refreshing. It’s a real pleasure to coach with him, the Roses are lucky his life landed in Ithaca!