The top seven players in the European women's division!
December 4, 2019 by Ravi Vasudevan, Ned Garvey, Liam Grant and Christina Obermayer in Awards with 0 comments
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With the 2019 season over, it is time for us to consider the individual players who had the best overall season this year. These are the top seven players in the women’s division this year. The selections are based on input from the Ultiworld Europe staff. The players are in no particular order. EUC and EUCF were the marquee events this year so performance in those events were considered first but performances in other tournaments such as WU24, EBUC, Tom’s Tourney and Windmill were also taken into account. In cases where a player played for different divisions between the EUC and EUCF, the division where they made the most impact was usually where we considered them for placement in these lines. In any disputed cases, the division for the EUC was used. Without further ado, here is our All-Europe Women’s line for 2019!
Sarah Melvin (Ireland Women, Dublin Gravity, EuroStars)
The first piece to our All Europe Women’s line is the best deep receiver in the game right now and the player of the year, Sarah Melvin. Melvin led her Irish team to a EUC victory and was arguably the strongest cutter on this year’s EuroStars tour. Even as she battled with injuries all season, she still managed to bring her club team to a semifinals finish. Melvin broke out on the European scene in 2018 on the EuroStars tour, but this year she backed that up with tremendous performances for her club and country.
Laura Farolfi (Italy Women, CUSB Shout)
Laura Farolfi might be as much of a talisman for the women’s side of Italian ultimate as Davide Morri is for men’s. She is hardly ever stopped by a defender on the field due to her clever cutting and speed. She can then get the disc to any of her fellow players with her veteran throws. She combines abilities on the field with great leadership skills and what seems like never ending enthusiasm and motivation on the field and sidelines of every game. Besides her fire on the field and her emotions, she works calm under pressure as she showed for Italy during EUC and for CUSB Shout EUCF, when she was one of the main reasons her team came back from a deficit to win important games.
Alisa Tizik (Russia Women, EuroStars)
Alisa Tizik could not be stopped by anyone this season. Even in Russia’s semifinals loss to the Irish at EUC, Tizik found herself scoring the lion’s share of the points and her quickness and ability to find holes in a defense is simply unmatched. She also returned to the EuroStars after a year off and was an absolute monster over on the other side of the Atlantic. While Tizik generally shines on offense, she is definitely no slouch on defense. She crossed over for Russia time and time again in their bronze medal run and there is no question that without Tizik, it would have been very tough for Russia to see the same success they saw this year.
Anna Ceschi (Italy Women, CUSB Shout)
The EuroStar killer is our next pick for the All Europe line. Ceschi has had success with Italy women, Raleigh Phoenix and CUSB Shout this year. She has been an elite level defender for a while now, but has elevated her offense as well. Ceschi was instrumental in the insane comeback against Germany in the EUC quarterfinals as well as the comeback win against YAKA in the EUCF semifinals. She plays the best in the biggest moments on both sides of the disc and is an easy pick for the all Europe line.
Fiona Mernagh (Ireland Women, Dublin Gravity)
Fiona Mernagh has probably been the most underrated player in Europe for the last decade. She doesn’t throw as many hucks as Áine Gilheany or catch as many goals as Sarah Melvin but she is the glue that ties the whole gold medal Irish team together. She played as a mid on the offensive line at EUC but was capable of doing anything when called upon. When Ireland needed a break Mernagh would crossover to add some fire power to the defensive line and showcase her whopper pull. At EUCR-W (UK Nationals) Mernagh was head and shoulders above anyone else at the tournament and made mincemeat of Iceni in the final. Dublin Gravity were the only undefeated team at EUCF until Mernagh had an unfortunate collision that left her concussed and unable to play the rest of the tournament. This season wasn’t just the luck o’ the Irish, they will be back with a bang next year and Mernagh will be leading the charge.
Olga Podolskaya (Russia Women, Elvis Presley)
Olga Podolskaya, the 2018 player of the year, had a quiet year by her standards, but she still managed to pick up a decent bit of hardware in Portugal (where she was the stats leader), Hungary, and Russia. In Russia, she managed to win the indoor championship, the mixed beach championship, and she finally led Elvis Presley to gold on grass over powerhouses like Cosmic Girls and Brilliance. She was dominant in every game she played in. Very few players are able to make ultimate look as easy as she does. Every catch, every throw, every block, and every layout looks effortless when she does it. She makes so few mistakes that some people compare her to a machine. It is Olga’s field, and we’re just playing on it.
Laura Niederhauser (Switzerland Women, FABulous, CUSB Shout)
The Swiss women’s team shocked many with their silver medal run at the EUC. Niederhauser was the best player on the team and it took her playing an all-star role offensively to get the Swiss to the finals at the EUC. In the final she scored three out of Switzerland’s eight goals. Her club team, FABulous, didn’t make it out of the EUCR but she was given an invite to CUSB Shout for the EUCF and was a key part of their title run. On this team she showed her tenacity on defense. She got block after block after block throughout the weekend and worked really well with Ceschi on the turns to help convert those blocks into breaks. Niederhauser stepped up for her country and really stood out on an EUCF championship team.