2011 Preview – Northwestern University GungHo

by | December 14, 2010, 9:00am 0

[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Northwestern University
Team Name:
Sara Miller, Lien Hoffmann, Julia La Manna
Ron Kubalanza, Marty Wasserman
Year Founded:
Jersey Colors:
Light blue and black
2010 Record: 14-18
Score Reporter[/stextbox]

How did you get involved with Ultimate at Northwestern?

Sarah ‘chunks’ Hong: I joined the Ultimate team because I wanted the experience of playing a fun, high energy sport while being part of a close-knit team. I saw an ad inside the bathroom stall of my dorm and joined right away.

Lien Hoffmann: I got waved down by GungHo at Northwestern’s activity fair the first week of school. I went to practice and got hooked (my teammates are SO COOL).

Sara Miller and team celebrate a Callahan score

What is Ultimate at Northwestern all about?

Sarah: It’s about winning.

Lien: AND having fun. Obvi. Note: it’s fun to win.

How did GUNGHO do last year?  What was the highlight of your season?

Sarah: We placed 17th at Nationals.

Lien: The highlight of the season was probably Centex, the whole weekend. The atmosphere, the weather, the intensity. It was the team’s first time together at a high level of competition event.

Who is your favorite team to play against?  Tell us about a memorable game.

Sarah: Valpo! We’ve played them a bunch of times and a few of our players got to be friendly. Their captain hooked us up with cases of Vitamin water last month. The most memorable game BY FAR was when we played them on Sunday of Regionals 2010. Both teams fought so hard and with so much at stake it was a pretty emotional game, but we stayed spirited and GungHo managed to pull through for the win.

Lien: Teams like Valpo, Illinois and UChicago are fun to play against, especially since we see them so much during the season. You start to recognize and get familiar with other players. Michigan is fun to play just because they’re good. And we have a cheer: Great lakes great times!

Tell us about your coaches.  What do they bring to your team?

Sarah: Last year we were fortunate enough to take on Ron Kubalanza as our coach. He brought new strategies and discipline to our team and played a significant role in taking Gungho to Nationals in 2010. He’s a master of the game and we are really glad to have him around!

Angel Li skys high

Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?

Sarah: Lien Hoffmann, an all-star player who was FOTY her freshman year and All-Region her sophomore year, is definitely somebody to keep an eye out for. With her lightning speed, unbeatable skies and tenacious D, Lien helped lead Chicago club team Nemesis to the top ten in the 2010 club championships and will no doubt be a strong presence in the college scene. She owns the sky and gets hand blocks and layout D’s like it’s her job. For anybody searching for a worthy Callahan nominee, Lien Hoffmann definitely deserves consideration!

Lien: Sara Miller was 2nd Team All Region last year and should most definitely earn 1st Team All Region this year. Her throws are smooth like butter; perfect every time. She’ll send a 40 yard huck into your outstretched hands in the endzone in stride. On defense, she’ll shut down her girl or work her ass off to make her life hell. Also look out for Sarah Hong. She’s small and cute, but she’ll sky you in a heartbeat. Handlers watch out, her quick reflexes get her many a layout D.

It’s easy to see when someone throws a huge huck on gets a layout D.  Who’s a player you have to watch more carefully to see how valuable she is to your team?

Lien: Angel Li is a sophomore this year and is one of the less outspoken girls on the team. She might not get the huge plays, but as a handler she’s ALWAYS where she needs to be, and her hands are disc magnets. Maria Benson is a great cutter and really knows how to get the disc moving. She doesn’t get to go long much, since she’s so good at quick ins. Her smart cuts get her open all the time.

How does GUNGHO  bring new players to ultimate up to speed?

Lien: In the fall, we start with simple throwing and catching. Once they get the hang of that, we slowly work them into scrimmages to get a sense of how the game works. We introduce the finer points of ultimate and strategy once winter begins.

What does your team like to do on offense and on defense?

Sarah: Our team focuses a lot on smooth handler movements and efficient cuts from the stack. On D we really emphasize the hard man defense and solid marks.

Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?

Sarah: Boulder, CO.

Lien: Even with Wisconsin in our region, we still hope to make it to Boulder, CO for nationals. That’s always the goal!

What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?

Sarah: We adopted a little mascot named Wally Peepers.

Lien: He’s a bush baby. We award him to players that do awesome things. Like layout or catch Ds. Or point blocks. Or skies. Or otherwise generally awesome actions.

GungHo shows some spirit at Centex

What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring?  Which are you most looking forward to?

Sarah: SPRING BREAK 2011. Who knows where we’ll be?!

What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?

Lien: We win the night of sleep the night before. We win breakfast, then we win the parking lot, then we win the warmup.

What song would you pick for the soundtrack to GUNGHO’s 2011 highlight video?

Sarah: Heart of a Champion by Nelly (Editor’s Note – That’s a great choice right there!)

Bear, ninja or cowboy?

Sarah: Bush baby

Comments Policy: At Skyd, we value all legitimate contributions to the discussion of ultimate. However, please ensure your input is respectful. Hateful, slanderous, or disrespectful comments will be deleted. For grammatical, factual, and typographic errors, instead of leaving a comment, please e-mail our editors directly at editors [at] skydmagazine.com.