The most successful offensive players of the 2022 season.
July 7, 2022 by Graham Gerhart, Steve Sullivan and Jenna Weiner in Awards with 0 comments
Ultiworld’s 2022 College Awards are presented by the National Ultimate Training Camp; all opinions are those of the author(s). NUTC helps young players become better athletes and community members.
Each year, Ultiworld presents our annual College Awards. Our staff evaluates the individual performances of players from throughout the season, talking to folks around college ultimate, watching film, and look at statistics, voting upon the awards to decide those to be honored. The regular season and the college Series are both considered, with extra emphasis for performances in the competitive and high-stakes environment at Nationals.
Our awards continue with the Offensive Player of the Year, recognizing the individual, and two runners-up, who we felt had the most impactful and productive seasons helping their teams score. They set up goals, finished off points, and produced yardage at consistently high levels against the top defenders.
- Player of the Year
- All-American First Team
- All-American Second Team
- Defensive Player of the Year Award
- Offensive Player of the Year Award
- Rookie of the Year Award
- Breakout Player of the Year Award
- Coach of the Year Award (Coming soon.)
D-I Women’s 2022 Offensive Player Of The Year
Ava Hanna (UC San Diego)
Compared to years past, UCSD didn’t have as many talented veterans on their roster as they did when the team was at the top of their game –but they still had Ava Hanna. The San Diego native was a force unto herself. If a receiver was open on the field — and sometimes even when they weren’t — Ava Hanna could find them, it was that simple. Her range of throws was almost impossible to gameplan for, and assists came as naturally to her as breathing. There wasn’t a tournament that Hanna attended where she didn’t immediately change the layout of the field, an effect that few others players could claim.
It’s a testament to Hanna’s ability that most teams at Nationals fell back on running zone against her. Let’s make one thing clear, too: those zones were intentionally deployed to stop her in particular. The Box-and-One was run so often against UCSD that you’d think it was invented just to slow Hanna down. While these ploys worked to some extent, Hanna still led the tournament in assists, so it begs one simple questions: was there anything that could really stop Ava Hanna?
UCSD asked a lot of their star handler, and she was up to the challenge. In fact, it appeared that Hanna was able to elevate her ability in tighter games. Against tougher opponents who limited the outlets UCSD had on offense, Hanna doubled down on her own talents and made play after play to keep her team in the game. That tenacity made UCSD one of the most dangerous teams to play in the division, and cemented Hanna as 2022’s OPOTY.
Alex Barnett (North Carolina)
To the extent that a second team All-American can ever be overshadowed, it seems like the full extent of Alex Barnett’s impact on North Carolina had previously been obscured by the presence of the antecedent main handler of the Pleiades offense. Given the reigns to the UNC O-line this season after leading the D-line in the fall, Barnett picked up right where her predecessor left off, putting up a POTY-podium-worthy performance in helping lead the best team in the country. During North Carolina’s repeat title run, not once did the moment ever look to large for Barnett, even against the toughest defenders in the nation.
While she was consistently excellent all spring for UNC, for anyone still questioning Barnett’s top-of-the-division bonafides heading into Nationals, her run through the bracket in Milwaukee left absolutely no remaining doubt — the Pleiades handler posted at least six combined goals and assists in every one of UNC’s three bracket games, a total no other player reached even twice at that stage of theweeknd. But her output was about far more than just the end product. Her consistency with her disc skills and in getting open around the disc was the antidote to the stiff breeze and challenging defensive schemes met in Milwaukee, providing a reassuring outlet for her team every time they needed it.
Madison Ong (British Columbia)
The best offensive players typically have some combination of outstanding consistency, a signature move or throw, and an innate field sense—Madison Ong had all three in spades. As the primary handler for an up-and-coming UBC Thunderbirds team, Ong picked apart opposing defenses with gorgeous cross-field backhands and touchy inside throws, which often managed to find their way through despite the presence of multiple defenders. At Nationals, she put up nearly twice as many assists as any of her teammates, and was always available for a reset that frequently led into a slicing throw to the endzone. For a young Thunderbirds team, Ong brought veteran savvy and play-making vision which led UBC to success once again.