The most impactful women's club players on the offensive end.
November 8, 2019 by Ultiworld in Awards with 0 comments
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Ultiworld is pleased to announce our fourth annual Women’s Club Awards. While we consider both regular season and postseason performance, because of the nature of the Club Division, we weight success in the Series and at Nationals above all else. The All-Club teams are selected based on input from Ultiworld reporters, contributors, and editors.
2019 Women’s Club Offensive Player Of The Year
Lauren Kimura (Toronto 6ixers)
Lauren Kimura controls the field. It’s that simple. When you watch Toronto 6ixers, it’s easy to see how much they rely on their primary offensive handler. Time and time again this season, she was the steadiest force on the field; she was always available for a reset, consistently moved the disc downfield, took the right shots, and was even an incredible defender when they needed to get the disc back. Head coach Carla DiFilippo summed it up nicely: “[Lauren] is the rock of our O-line.”
Kimura brings smart decisions, exemplary throws, and stunning versatility to the Toronto 6ixers, but perhaps her most important skill is much less tangible or measurable: she is always the calming presence on a chaotic field. She is so unwavering and reliable that every one of her teammates play better in her presence. Captain Jordan Meron spoke highly of her O-line colleague. “She’s really like our general out there. She commands the back of the field which makes everyone else’s job easier,” said Meron.
Unfortunately for all of us, Kimura was injured during Toronto 6ixers semifinal matchup against Portland Schwa, so we did not get to see her on the field against Brute Squad in the final. Prior to the injury, Kimura had already put up five goals and 10 assists, though when watching Toronto 6ixers, it felt like more. With the best defenders trying to stifle her, she still managed to get open for every other pass on most O points for the Canadian crew. Even her final opponents, Brute Squad, were disappointed that she couldn’t be on the field.
That’s the thing about Lauran Kimura: she will roast people with her savvy cuts and clever throws, but they still want to match up against her because it’s a never-ending challenge to try to contain her. She makes everyone on the field — both teammates and opponents — better.
– Kelsey Hayden
1st Runner-Up: Carolyn Finney (San Francisco Fury)
Watching Carolyn Finney command the team’s offense, and you can see she exemplifies ‘fury.’ It’s hard to stand out on a team that prioritizes depth, but Finney has found a way to do so. Certainly, as the reigning Player of the Year, she proved she could be noticeable. Her numbers on the Fury stat sheet are as unique as her role: she’s the only player to reach double-digits in any category with 12 assists; few of her teammates exceeded five in any scoring column.
Finney is the rulebreaker. Fury’s a team that plays with discipline, with intelligence, and with a constantly evolving plan that allows them to stay one step ahead of their competition. They also play with Finney, an offensive variable that no opposing calculus can solve for when designing a defense. While her teammates play the notes on the page, Finney has room for a solo, a crescendo of slashing cuts, vicious fakes, and penetrating offensive play. While that sometimes led to discordance, it also resulted in sizable production: in the two games we tracked,1 Finney had a healthy lead in yardage, chipping in over 400 yards in their intense semifinal while topping the team in points played and touches. She’s not afraid of taking a chance, and her teammates are happy to both enable that and reap the rewards.
– Keith Raynor
2nd Runner-Up: Claire Chastain (Denver Molly Brown)
A lot changed with Molly Brown this season, but Claire Chastain’s brilliance remained constant. Denver has accumulated so much talent at this point that we could talk about the entire team ad nauseam, and yet we keep coming back to face of Colorado ultimate. Chastain’s season was yet another example of the mastery that she has with the disc in hand. She was the team’s assist leader and second in goals, which doesn’t even account for how effective she was on defense for her team.
Molly Brown intentionally took risks this season, and no player was better equipped to take those risks than Chastain. She can make a defense tense in a way that no other thrower can. Her unpredictable looks were the spark plug that set off all of Denver’s offense. There were plenty of other players that could initiate once they got the disc, but only one player Molly Brown trusted to get the disc every time.
2019 may not have ended as Denver intended, but they proved they were just as potent as they’ve been in the past, and a lot of that rests of Chastain’s shoulders.
– Graham Gerhart
Pro Champs final vs. Molly Brown, Nationals semifinal vs. Brut Squad ↩