D-III Women’s 2024 Rookie of the Year

The first-years who have already established themselves among the division's best overall players.

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.

The Rookie of the Year award recognizes players who impressed in their first college ultimate seasons. That includes both freshman and true rookies. Each season, it feels like this group of players becomes more impactful; as the level of youth play and of coaching and development rise, so does the bar for the division’s best rookie. Whether they come to the college game from years of youth experience, a background in other sports, or none of the above, these players made debuts to remember in high-level college play.

D-III Women’s 2024 Rookie Of The Year

Scout Noble (Wesleyan)

Wesleyan’s Scout Noble releases a flick at the 2024 D-III College Championships. Photo: Rudy DeSort – UltiPhotos.com

A common theme for this year’s Nationals was teams putting an unusual amount of trust in younger players. The Vicious Circles got this memo and directed their trust toward first-year Scout Noble. This rookie made her name well known at Nationals, ending her debut as Wesleyan’s leader in assists and inched her way near the top of the tournament’s leaderboard for scoring passes. Her trustworthy work in the backfield and beautiful deep looks helped the Vicious Circles break into the championship bracket. The trust Wesleyan put in Noble paid off because they reached the greater heights of a repeat appearance at Nationals and a ninth-place finish.

A lot of Wesleyan’s success at Nationals but more so through the 2024 season can be attributed to Noble and the intensity she brought to her team. The Vicious Circles quickly became a favorite for the Metro East, which allowed Scout to rise and develop her handling skills. All her fierce work developed her sense of confidence and composure in the backfield. Her skill level became unmatched and despite being a rookie, she has proven to be one of Wesleyan’s best players. With many seasons still ahead of her, team turnover won’t be a problem for the Vicious Circles. For the teams that will face Wesleyan next year, watch out for Scout Noble.

Raquel Alegria

First Runner-Up

Molly Horstman Olson (Carleton)

Carleton’s Molly Horstman Olson throws past the long mark in the semifinal of the 2024 D-III College Championships. Photo: Rudy DeSort – UltiPhotos.com

Carleton brought a stacked team to the Nationals and finally found their way into the Championship game, yet again. With a championship title and redemption on the line, you rarely expect to see rookies on the line, but the Eclipse put their trust in Molly Horstman Olson and she did not disappoint. Throughout the tournament, she kept up with the top dogs on her team and became the top four leader in assists. She racked up an impressive amount of defensive plays, but she was Carleton’s secret weapon on the offensive side. Her speedy resets and quick hands will become even more dangerous as she develops her game. The future is looking bright for Olsen and Eclipse is being left in her good hands.

– Raquel Alegria

Second Runner-Up

Leilani Lepe (Davenport)

Davenport’s Leilani Lepe at the 2024 D-III College Championships. Photo: Rudy DeSort – UltiPhotos.com

Stepping up huge for the Panthers in their first trip to Nationals, Leilani Lepe posted eight goals, good enough for first on her team, and she put up five assists, third among her teammates. Lepe has shown a lot of promise for the Panthers. Despite the bright lights, the pressure of the moment, and the fierce competition, Lepe showed a lot of poise. Despite being a rookie, she was integral to Davenport’s success and played a key role on the field. Lepe demonstrated that she has what it takes to step up and take the wheel from veterans O’Neill and Bañares in the coming seasons.

– Zack Davis

  1. Raquel Alegria
    Raquel Alegria

    Originally from Los Angeles and a current senior at Wellesley College, Raquel is majoring in Economics and minoring in Psychology. Over the past two years, she has been playing for the Wellesley Whiptails and has developed a strong passion for the sport of ultimate.

  2. Zack Davis
    Zack Davis

    Former D-III player for Spring Hill College, poached on the breakside.

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