Club Championships 2019: The Line Of The Future (Mixed)

14 players that could define the future of the division.

Ultiworld’s reporting on the Club Mixed division is presented by Universe Point cleats. All opinions are those of the authors. Please support the brands that make Ultiworld possible and shop at Universe Point!

The Nationals mixed division has showcased a high level of parity, breathtakingly close games, and a lot of the familiar big names returning. But with multiple dynastic teams investing in their long term futures, and high level mixed drawing in an ever-widening range of players, the games have been peppered with exceptional young players having great moments. Over and over this weekend, a play in a mixed gamed has sent us to the roster book, as we try to figure out who on earth just dared to lay out D a big star. And often, the shock has been the same. “She’s eighteen?”

A high stakes tournament like Nationals gives these players and teams the chance to test their talent under serious pressure. Here are some young players who have risen to the challenge this weekend, in no particular order:

Paul Owens. Photo: Paul Rutherford — UltiPhotos.com

Paul Owens

Age: 20
Team: Philadelphia AMP

20-year-old Paul Owens is a prime example of someone who proved his worth in high pressure situations. In a pivotal moment in the AMP vs BFG game to advance to quarterfinals, he was asked to step up. It was double game point, and AMP’s Luke Ryan got a debilitating a calf cramp. Owens subs on, taking the most dangerous match-up on the field: Tommi Li. Owens gets a huge block in the end zone, busts up field, gets the disc, and throws a perfect outside blade to Michael Ing to break and win. Throwing him on in double game point panned out for the young team, and verifies that Owens is a player that you can call on in a high pressure situation.

Liz Hart. Photo: Paul Andris — UltiPhotos.com

Liz Hart

Age: 24
Team:
Philadephia AMP

This is a little more of a rookie alert than a youth alert, but her impact needs to get a mention somewhere. AMP picked up a star in the making by taking Liz Hart. A former player for West Chester University, her club impact is coming to a peak for AMP at Nationals. In the seasons’ previous big tournaments, her play was always solid, systematic, and it seemed clear she was capable of running with the greats on AMP. But at this Nationals, she really stepped up, placing second in goals scored for AMP, right behind Sean Mott (and edging out Michael Ing). It seems like she’s finding her niche right in time: as a destructive goal scorer for the defending champions.

Cara Sieber. Photo: Paul Rutherford — UltiPhotos.com

Cara Sieber

Age: 21
Team:
Columbus Cocktails

Sieber would be impressive if she’d been playing in the division for ten years: she has expert inside breaks, field sense of a veteran, and the tendency to lay out huge for big plays. But she’s only 21. A captain for the very successful D-I program Columbus Fever, it’s good to know that there’ll be something for them to talk about now that Sadie Jezierski has moved on. Cocktails played her almost every O point and tacked on D points, and she just kept throwing goals. She’s put up four goals and seven assists this weekend, and she’s had countless clever throws and big cuts that didn’t make it to the stats sheet.

Axel Agami. Photo: Daniel Thai — UltiPhotos.com

Axel Agami

Age: 19
Team:
Columbus Cocktails

Everyone already knows the Agami name from the stats sheet at last year’s Nationals. Sion Agami made a splash by showing up high on the stats sheet in 2018. But Axel, Sion’s younger brother, has made his own name at this tournament. A vital player for Ohio Leadbelly, he had a staggering performance, with eight goals, five assists, and eight blocks. He’s the defensive counterpart in the Agami family, unafraid to make big plays and spectacular lay outs.

Leo Sovell-Fernandez. Photo: Leonard Bernstein — UltiPhotos.com

Leo Sovell-Fernandez

Age: 19
Team:
Minneapolis Drag’n Thrust

2019 D-III rookie of the year Leo Sovell-Fernandez showed off a great combination of trust and talent this club season. Drag’n incorporating such a 19 year old player into a central handler role on their starting O line is a very trusting move. But he’s exceeded expectations. His assist sheet doesn’t reflect his ability to find and put pinpoint throws into open spaces. You can’t watch a big Drag’n Thrust game this year without noticing his impact. He’s patience when he needs to be, and has this ability to land everything right into his talented receivers hands. Nationals is just a continuation of his rapid domination of the mixed club scene.

Claire Thallon. Photo: Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

Claire Thallon

Age: 23
Team:
Minneapolis Drag’n Thrust

Claire Thallon is another Carleton Syzygy graduate, with a talent for deep cuts and winning contests in the air. It’s no surprise that she caught the game winning goal for Drag’n in the tight double game point quarterfinals: she has quickly become one of their most reliable deep cutters. With five goals and three assists on the board, she is a a vital part of Drag’n’s offense at this tournament.

Ryan Cooper just misses a layout D. Photo: Sam Hotaling — UltiPhotos.com

Ryan Cooper

Age: 20
Team:
Washington D.C. Space Heater

A 20 year old player built for jumping high, Cooper kept getting put on the other team’s largest match-ups. He didn’t just shut down big talent, but his huge vertical allows him to take and dominate the tallest men on opposing teams. His ability to shut down those heavily advantaged players allowed Space Heater to boost their defense in other ways, and on top of it all, he managed to eke out several Ds in this tournament.

Orion Cable. Photo: Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

Orion Cable

Age: 18
Team:
Slow White

A big incomer to the mixed scene this season, 18 year old Cable had his most impactful tournament earlier this year at Pro Champs, where his team leaned on him to dictate the offensive flow. Here at Nationals, he’s shared the play-making wonder-boy space more with Tannor Johnson, but has put up nine goals and and four assists in a strong display this tournament so far.

Bretton Tan. Photo: Jeff Bell — UltiPhotos.com

Brett Tan

Age: 22
Team:
Slow White

Is it possible Brett Tan is only 22 years old? It seems like he has been impressing us forever. He already has two years of high level experience in the men’s division playing for GOAT, and his move to Slow White has caused havoc for regional rivals. He’s got an uncanny knack at poach defense, finding clean ways to cut off other team’s offensive patterns like he has stared into their souls and knows exactly where they want to throw it. He scored four goals, had four assists, and three blocks this tournament, which goes to show that his biggest contribution is being able to do everything.

Mia Bladin. Photo: Kevin Leclaire — UltiPhotos.com

Mia Bladin

Age: 23
Team:
San Francisco Mischief

A Defensive POTY runner up in 2017 with Slow White, Bladin came into Nationals without too much buzz. But as Mischief climbed their way through the whole tournament, it became apparent Bladin was a key part of their success. When Mischief’s O-line called pull plays, Bladin always had a role in the mid-field. In the semifinals especially, she tore up the defense, sometimes playing as an every-other-touch player. In this tournament, Bladin has emerged as a rising dependable cutter with a promising future.

Alex Pan. Photo: Sam Hotaling — UltiPhotos.com

Alex Pan

Age: 21
Team:
San Francisco Polar Bears

An important part of the Berkley UGMO team, Alex Pan is having a breakout club season. As a starting O-line handler in his first season on Polar Bears, he’s a lethal combination of incredibly fast and collected behind the disc. His signature move is busting deep from the handler position, and as one of the fastest players in the game, he’s been a force this weekend.

He has a bright future in club mixed. In addition to doing a lot of work getting the disc down the field, he also had three goals, two assists, and two blocks at this Nationals.

Nariah Sims. Photo: Alex Fraser — UltiPhotos.com

Nariah Sims

Age: 20
Team:
Seattle BFG

Sims is only 20 but has been on the radar since at least 2016, when she played on the U20 USA National team, and she’s put in some strong years for Carleton Syzygy. Currently one of BFG’s youngest, she stood out for playing exceptional defense this tournament. She excels at (but is not limited to) shutting down handlers, often taking some of the other team’s hardest match-ups. She put herself on the map this tournament by tying a few other teammates for the most blocks on the team.

Abby Hecko. Photo: Jolie Lang — UltiPhotos.com

Abby Hecko

Age: 18
Team:
Seattle Mixtape

As an 18 year old, Hecko is used to being the youngest one on the field, fresh off an experience as the youngest player on the USA women’s U24 team. A versatile D-line player on Mixtape, Hecko was taking on some seriously talented match-up’s and ruining their chances at getting the disc. Especially playing so many points on the D-line, her stats sheet didn’t reflect her impact as a solid player who can slot into any role required of her.

Hazel Ostrowski. Photo: Jolie Lang — UltiPhotos.com

Hazel Ostrowski

Age: 18
Team:
Seattle Mixtape

Ostrowski only had two goals and two assists, but Mixtape was putting her on every line, in every position, and she played up. On any matchup, she found herself consistently open and making gains. After Ellen Goldberg tore her ACL, Ostrowski moved into a bigger role as a cutter on Mixtape this tournament and managed to carry that responsibility with grace. She has a bright future as an integral cutter for the dynastic team.

  1. Karoline Hart
    Karoline Hart

    Karoline Hart runs a small vegetable farm in upstate New York. That really should be enough physical activity for anyone. But with a lifelong passion for sports, she makes time in her summer to play as much ultimate as possible. She most recently played the 2018 season with Boston Snake Country and is helping form a women’s team, Rebel Rebel, in Upstate New York this summer. She hopes to spend this summer learning how to create engaging sports narratives so she can use those skills to draw attention to the unseen and underrepresented members of this sport.

TAGGED: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

More from Ultiworld
Comments on "Club Championships 2019: The Line Of The Future (Mixed)"

Find us on Twitter

Recent Comments

Find us on Facebook