The top seven performers of the 2019 season.
June 17, 2019 by Sam Echevarria and Daniel Prentice in Awards with 0 comments
Ultiworld’s 2019 Women’s College Awards are presented in part by VC Ultimate, a leading supporter of women in ultimate. They are also presented in part by the National Ultimate Training Camp, who can help prepare you to be an All-Star. All opinions are those of the authors. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Ultiworld possible!
Ultiworld is pleased to announced our third annual D-III All-America teams. These players were selected for their overall performance in the 2019 college season, looking at both the regular season and the full college Series, including Nationals. Please join us in honoring the best college players of this season.
Links to all of the 2019 D-III Women’s Division awards will be added as awards are announced:
Player of the Year Award
Offensive Player of the Year Award
Defensive Player of the Year Award
Breakout Player of the Year Award
Rookie of the Year Award
Coach of the Year Award
All American 1st Team
All American 2nd Team (will be announced later this week!)
D-III Women’s 2019 1st Team All Americans
Josie Gillett (Bates)
The 2019 Player of the Year, Gillett was as good as advertised in her final season of college ultimate. Bates’ entire offense ran through the senior handler and her ability to slice up defenses from any place on the field. She led them to an undefeated season up to the national final, where they did come up short, but that should take nothing away from how dominant she was this year. Gillett led the division in assists at Nationals for the second time in her career,1 and was simply the most impactful individual player in the division this season.
Abby Cheng (Oberlin)
When Oberlin handlers needed an option, Cheng made it happen, time and time again. The senior’s ability to pull away and find space, no defender to be seen, verged on absurd. Appearing to play without paying attention to the conditions, Cheng looked fresh and ready to sprint for end zone back corners or under for huge gains throughout the D-III College Championships. With 20 goals — second in the division at Nationals — and 13 assists, the Player of the Year First Runner Up energized a title-winning Oberlin team while playing the clean, consistent game needed to withstand a top team like Bates. Only five recorded turnovers over six games is the kind of statistics that not just any champion can claim, but Cheng earned with her level of play.
Emma Piorier (Puget Sound)
To call Piorier an impact player would be underselling the sophomore standout. Piorier not only had the speed to get separation from her defenders and the positioning to make a play in the air for a disc, but also the tenacity and consistency to do both, over and over, in the College Station heat. Putting the disc in the sophomore’s hands proved fruitful for Puget Sound, generating 18 goals and 13 assists over the championship weekend — these numbers alongside an incredible 12 recorded blocks. Piorier excels at grinding and hustling, and put on quite the demonstration in Texas after a dominant 2019 season for Puget Sound in the Northwest.
Cameron Johnson (Bates)
On the other side of Gillett’s assists and deep looks one could regularly find Cameron Johnson, sophomore cutter and 2019 Offensive Player of the Year. Johnson’s talent at timing for Gillett’s hucks was uncanny, time-tested and perfected over two seasons of dominating the deep space. Beyond excelling at generating field-stretching plays, the cutter helped keep momentum, unafraid to work the disc herself when called upon. With a Nationals tournament-leading 28 goals, Johnson is the player any handler would love to see shooting deep for the end zone.
Helen Samuel (Oberlin)
Samuel absolutely feasted in the middle of Oberlin’s zone defense when they deployed it and she locked down her mark when she was asked to play matchup. Her defensive influence won her Defensive Player of the Year honors, but it’s her complete game that lands her on the All America first team. Samuel’s speed, which made her such a fearsome defender, made her equally as dangerous on the offensive side, where she routinely sped by anyone trying to keep up with her. She consistently put herself in dangerous positions for Oberlin, where she capitalized to the tune of 15 assists at National — not a bad complement to her team-leading 12 blocks.
Zoe Hecht (Oberlin)
Some players have a favorite move — for Hecht, the upline strike to get the disc is her signature look. It doesn’t matter if a defender knew it was coming; the sophomore handler’s speed and positioning — along with a willingness to get up for the disc — made it work over and over again. The diversity of throws in her arsenal and downfield vision, calm and confident, staring through her mark, helped Hecht produce 17 assists in College Station. Her work in endzone plays and playing off her teammates gave her an additional hand in scoring 9 goals. The versatility of Hecht on an offensive line showed the division just how dangerous it can be to underestimate the reach of her efforts on the field.
Claire Babbott-Bryan (Middlebury)
2019 was a banner year for talented rookies, and Claire Babbott-Bryan helped lead the pack. A combined 32 goals and assists at Nationals, split at 16 apiece, is one way of counting Babbott-Bryan’s impact on the field for Middlebury and a favorite target for handlers like Miyo McGinn. In nearly any situation called upon, the freshman made the play or found the target needed, opening up the downfield in moments where the possession looked lost. The Rookie of the Year will be one to watch for in the Middlebury jersey and the rest of the New England region to start losing sleep over now.
The 37 assists she had in College Station were 14 more than anyone else in the division, but her lowest tally at Nationals since her freshman year. The 37 assists brought her career total to 159 in four trips. ↩