January 27, 2015 by Keith Raynor in Rankings with 5 comments
Here are the first Savage Power Rankings for the Women’s Division in the new year. These reflect results from the fall season, early information from the 2015 regular season, and our knowledge of the most current rosters.
Kaylor (U-23 Mixed), Shofner (U-23 Women’s), Ode (U-23 Women’s), and Wahlroos lead the way for a deep, seasoned, and skilled Fugue team. We’ve seen what they are capable of when they are on, and you can expect them to drop some jaws with their playmaking ability.
2. British Columbia
Their squad is less of a University team and more of a Canadian All Star team. Mira Donaldson (U-23 Women’s) is a showstopping offensive threat, but their raw talent may be better than anyone in the division. Emphasis on raw, as they are still so young.
Heavy favorite at home Winta Binta Vinta Fest, which had a weaker crop than usual. No problem for UVA to cruise through to the win. Expect Alika Johnston (U-23 Women’s), Sarah Hansen, and company to be at the top of the heap at most events they attend.
A pretty dominating undefeated run at Santa Barbara Invite was punctuated by a thorough beating of rival UCSB in the final, 11-5. Returning stars Steph Lim (U-23 Women’s) and Monisha White, plus a very impressive group of starters, plus a nearing-healthy Michela Meister (U-23 Women’s).
What-man? The Walla Walla ladies are ready to make themselves known. Claire Revere (U-23 Mixed), Julia Bladin, and Ari Lozano (U-23 Mixed alternate) lead the way, but they are rife with young Northwest studs that should push them over the top.
Continuing to trend upward, bolstered by the 5th year return of POTY shortlister Megan Cousins (U-23 Women’s), Kali looks primed for a great year. Lots of club experience, including Dori Franklin, Nhi Nguyen, and Jean Russell. If they can tighten up their offense from last season, they get very scary.
Even without Julia Snyder, Syzygy could return to the quarterfinals, or go even further. The handler-cutter duo of Kirstie Barton and Emily Buckner is going to be tough to stop. An increasingly impressive supporting cast of players like Katie Ciaglo, Leah Kromer, and Lucia Childs-Walker will punish teams for overfocusing on the duo.
Graduated a ridiculous amount of talent, but managed to draw in a bunch of grad students to reload. Lauren Sadler, Emma Kahle, and unheralded Tess Young are high quality imports that join Sarah Edwards (U-23 Mixed), Nora Landri (U-23 Women’s), Grace Noah, and Cami Canter on a very new-look Element roster.
Until they give us a reason to think otherwise, how can you doubt Betty? They’ve put up consistent results, and won FWC despite playing most of it without star Clare Frantz (U-23 Women’s). Strong handler core of Jenni Corcoran and Caitlin Fitzgerald getting help from improved cutters Kailee Karr and Kelsey Akin.
10. UC Santa Barbara
The Burning Skirts didn’t have their finest weekend at their home Invite. They were down 11-2 to Stanford in the final, and four late game goals are just lipstick on a pig. Had trouble finishing off other opponents. Talent is there with names like Lisa Pitcaithley (U-23 Mixed), Joy Kang, and Talia Barth, but execution needs work.
11. Western Washington
Without Callie Mah, the team turns to Abbie Abramovich, Tiffany Phan, and Jesse Thoreson to lead the way. One of the country’s grittiest groups, they continue to get more talented and skilled, making them a dangerous team this season.
Qxhna Titcomb is primed for a monstrous year for Ewo, flanked by veteran handlers Jojo Emerson and Laura Fradin. Another year of polish should help straighten out the execution errors that plagued the their offense last year.
It has been a long time since Dartmouth has had this much elite talent on the roster. Eva Petzinger and Angela Zhu anchor a team that runs deeper than that duo. They’ve added a couple of U-19 stars, picked up some extra club experience, and enter the season ready to make a heck of a lot of noise.
14. Central Florida
FWC proved not much has changed for the Sirens. Even with a hurt Steph Williams, they marched to the final. Not sure how they can stand up to a weekend of tougher competition or if we can expect consistency, but they remain a threat, especially with freshman Janina Freystaetter just getting started.
15. Florida State
Had a coming out party at FWC, playing well game in and game out against good teams. Beating Kansas is one of the bigger wins in program history. Veteran team came through in troublesome clutch situations, too. They’ve grown a lot without the injured by talented Kristin Lloyd.
Only loss of SBI came at the hands of Stanford, and they worked over every other team they saw, including a huge run against Cal to take control of their quarterfinal. This team might get better and better as the year goes on as Kristin Pojunis (U-23 Mixed), Han Chen, and Margot Stert take to their roles more.
Solid if unexciting weekend in Orlando for Mei Bruist and company, where their pair of wins over Georgia and loss to Ohio State look worse now than they did going in. What a difference a single point against Wisconsin makes, as they could have been in semis and had a much better showing.
Kate Scarth leads the way for the Vixens in a bid to return to nationals. They’ll miss Danie Proby, who took a lot of touches, but have plenty of players who soaked in the growing opportunity of last year’s College Championships. The competitive Northwest won’t be easy, but should prepare them for battle.
Hannah Leathers and Lane Siedor are still stars, and their role players are improving, but they did not deliver how they could have. They wound up with ok wins and all of their losses were not even close on the scoreboard. QCTU will be huge for them.
There are a lot of really good players that left Michigan last year, but the cupboard isn’t bare. Hannah Henkin (U-23 Women’s), Tracey Lo (U-23 Mixed), and Carolyn Vlach now rule the roost for Flywheel. They look like the class of the Great Lakes again and have a program in place to develop their team.
21. Ohio State
Looked flat out uncomfortable and lacked confidence. The beautiful spacing, discipline, and ease of last year’s offense was gone. Stevie Miller (U-23 Women’s), coming off injury, looked a bit tentative as a primary handler. But we know she’s a stud and Jenna Galletta looked polished and determined, so don’t expect Fever to fall off the map.
Great size and athleticism, but just failed to execute, especially coming down the stretch of games. No convincing wins, but they always gave the sense they were just a few plays away from very different results. There’s a lot to build on, with talent like Rachel Romaniak, Anna Hrovadt-Staedter (U-23 Mixed), Lorraine Guerin, and freshman Maggie Kennedy (U-23 Women’s).
23. UC San Diego
Inconsistent at Santa Barbara, but gave Stanford one of their best games, made semis, nearly took down Santa Barbara, which all adds up to some good work. But struggled to put away Davis and SLO, plus got rocked by UCLA in the final game of consolation play.
Toiling outside of the spotlight has been India Stubbs, one of the country’s elite backfield presences. After claiming a bid they couldn’t hold at Regionals last year, Quasar is aiming to do even more. But they may have help on the way, with U-19 stud Mia Bladin reportedly joining the team despite playing varsity soccer.
25. North Carolina
Reloading after the end of an era. Fortunately, they have talent to build around. Jenny Wei and Rachel Simpson will be front and center for their careers, while Elena Wong and Claire Pauley are the veterans trying to guide a young team towards a rebound season.