June 5, 2014 by Keith Raynor in Livewire with 16 comments
At this point in the season, with college kids at home for the summer and seniors having said their goodbyes, attention turns to the club scene. In women’s, that means figuring out if anyone can challenge Riot, and reigning champion Fu-
Sorry, force of habit.
Defending champions Washington DC Scandal, along with both Bay Area Fury and Seattle Riot, are gearing up for runs at a title. From the rest of the pack will emerge the challengers and the first place to look is at the early roster announcements, which are still filtering in.
The team everyone will be talking about going into this season is Boston Brute Squad. They built buzz last season by adding two Callahan winners – Leila Tunnell and Courtney Kiesow – and have a lot of turnover this year, but have added a crop of new stars. Lien Hoffmann and Kami Groom both made waves for Chicago Nemesis last season, landing them Ultiworld All-Club 1st Team honors, and will now be suiting up for Boston. They are joined by Nemesis’s center handler from last season, Paula Seville.
That’s not all for Boston, either. Former Ozone stud Chelsea Murphy, along with Kirsten Unfried (Scandal) and Becca Ludford (Nemesis), are coming on board and will make immediate impacts. They’ll be filling in for holes left by Kelly Tidwell, Amber Sinicrope, VY Chow, and Julie Malacek.
Kelly Johnson, another star of Nemesis last year, has also changed rosters, heading out to Seattle to join Riot. Riot also brings in Charlie Eide and Bailey Zahniser. Zahniser returns to Riot after a season off, and the big story for Seattle is the return of so many players from injury: Alyssa Weatherford, Rohre Titcomb, and Sarah Davis are all ready to go this year. Riot is looking very dangerous, with few losses.
Fury has added a ton of experience to their roster. Andrea Romano, VY Chow, and one of the women’s division’s former showstoppers, Liz Duffy, will be cleating up for last year’s runners-up. Matty Tsang can do a lot with that, and they’ll fill in nicely for a veteran like Liz Penny. Losing Julia Sherwood, who was really making her mark, is unfortunate, but Fury’s as scary as ever.
And the reigning champs? Little is changing for them. Jorgensen, Payne, Fey, White, and Mercier are all back. Unfried and Ratcliff are not playing, but the addition of Raha Mozaffari from AMP is an impact grab. Mozaffari’s status for the full season – I believe she’s headed to World’s with Scandal – is unclear, as is Maddy Frey (Ozone), one of the offensive dynamos of last season. If Frey commits, it’ll be a huge pickup.
Roster announcements from Raleigh Phoenix — potentially adding this year’s Callahan winner Cassie Swafford and some Southeast and AC All-Region talent — and Texas Showdown, plus some of the division’s top contenders, should be forthcoming. We already know we’ll see big names in new digs: Showdown adds Central Florida’s Mariel Hammond and Sunny Harris, Molly Brown is bringing in 2013 Callahan winner Claire Chastain, and Sophie Darch (Oregon) will be playing for Portland Schwa.