[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Colorado College
Team Name: Lysistrata’s Tools
Captains: Hannah Sohl (senior), Sophie Herscu (senior), Molly Sinnott (junior)
Coaches: Emily Anderson (swingline), Michelle Groscost (Molly Brown)
Jersey Colors: Purple, White
Taylor Kanemori: I love ultimate! I started playing when I was in 6th grade, which makes this my 9th year playing competitively. The summer after my freshmen year of high school I played on the Seattle girls YCC team, and took first with them in ‘06, ‘07, and ‘09. In ‘08 and ’10 I represented the United States on the Jr. National team attending the World Championships in both Vancouver, and Germany. In fall of 2009 I started playing for Colorado College. I am so grateful for every opportunity I have had because of frisbee. Without ultimate, there is no way I could have had all the incredible experiences I have had, not to mention the amazing friends that have come with every team and every game.
How did LYSISTRATA’S TOOLS do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Nikki Kaufman: Last year was a huge building year for our team. We recruited more women to play than had ever been part of the team, the majority of whom had never played before. And yet, by the winter, the rookies could keep up with most teams we played. The highlight was probably in Las Vegas where we won every game Saturday. Despite Sunday being canceled by the TD, our captains set up three games for Sunday, and we won all of those too, beating even teams that got to nationals last year. That was when we knew that this was not the team we had had in the past. That was when we knew this was a team that could rise to the top.
Who is your favorite team to play against? Tell us about a memorable game.
Claire Jencks: Well…the competition in Colorado can be pretty stiff. I would be hard-pressed to pick one game, but I love playing anytime against Kali, the University of Colorado, Boulder team. It’s always a tough game with tons of spirit from both teams. The love of frisbee always comes out when we play Kali, and over the past couple of years we’ve been more and more evenly matched with them. We can’t wait to play them this year!
Tell me about your coaches and captains. What do they bring to your team?
Kate Wihtol: Our captains this year are Sophie Herscu and Hannah Sohl, both seniors. This is Sophie’s third year as captain, so she is very experienced in assisting with each player’s personal development. Sophie helps each player to understand her role on and off the field. Hannah adds an enthusiasm that keeps moral high and is someone that all players feel comfortable approaching with strategic or technical questions. Both captains do an excellent job of keeping practice entertaining and beneficial for all the skill levels on the team Next semester, junior Molly Sinnott will come back from her semester abroad and join Hannah and Sophie as captains. Molly is a very experienced player and will allow for a smooth transition into next year’s season.
Sophie Herscu: Up until Sectionals two years ago Lysistrata had never had a coach. With only about ten players consistently on the roster, ‘strata would go out to a couple of tournaments a year, but never competed at the regional or national level. As the team started to grow and as people started to build real skill, is was obvious that we were headed down a more competitive road, one that would require a coach. Emily Anderson, formerly of Rare Air, gladly stepped up to the challenge. Her vision of strategy, team dynamic, and how to make a true team has been invaluable to Lysistrata. Emily is the most supportive coach, a motivating friend, and the number one fan and believer in ‘strata. Thanks for everything Emily!
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Emily Anderson, Coach:
Sophia Herscu- the most dominant college player in the country that no one knows about (hopefully that will change this year). Sophia came from Amherst high, so she was already a strong player when she joined CC. At the end of her freshman year she was voted in as captain of Lysistrata and she has been captain for the last 3 years straight. At the end of her freshman year she also tried out for Woman’s club team Rare Air, and made the team even though she was only able to attend a single tryout. She played with Rare Air for 2 seasons, and then played with new Colorado club team Molly Brown this last season, making club Nationals each season she played. Sophia is an unbeatable handler in the college scene; she has full field hucks, both forehand and backhand, and is unstoppable in her handler movement. Sophia would be the top handler on any college team in the country. For both her leadership and her ability, Sophia Herscu should receive consideration for Callahan.
In addition to Sophia, there are 3 other players who deserve to make all region; Hannah Sohl, Lauren Foster and Claire Jencks.
Senior Hannah Sohl has been captain of Lysistrata for the last 2 seasons. She is one of the more dominant cutters in the college scene. She has hops (one of our best deep deeps) as well as quick direction change which make her extremely difficult to cover. I have never seen another team able to shut her down completely.
Senior Lauren Foster is the story of the ugly duckling turning into a swan. When she first showed up to practice she wore cut off jeans, didn’t own a sports bra and had not played a team sports before. No one would have guessed that in a few short years she would be an unstoppable force. Lauren Foster is a stellar cutter; she will fake you out of your shorts or just straight run by you underneath. If you try to stop her underneath game she will cut deep and make sick layout bids for scores.
Senior Claire Jencks is a rock of a handler. I promise you will not stop her from getting the disc. She has handler movement down to an art form. But wait, just as you get complacent she will go deep on you and unquestionably score.
Freshman (FOTY) Lisi Lohre is going to make a huge impact on Lysistrata. She has been playing in high school since 7th grade and played this last summer as a key handler for Denver YCC mixed team. As a freshman this girl already knows the game front to back, and can handle high pressure situations. Best of all she is absolutely in love with the game of ultimate.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Taylor: The really cool thing about our team is that there is not just one player we can count on to make a huge play of any kind. We definitely have our stand out players in handling, defense and cuts. That being said the most exciting thing to me is that there are so many people that I have witnessed this year bring a whole new level to their playing.
When I am cutting I love for Nikki Kaufman to have the disc when I make a deep cut because not only do I know she will throw it to me, I am very confident that she will put it to the perfect place. On D, my eye is almost constantly drawn to Lauren Foster. She knows that when that disc is up no matter her position on the field, it is her disc and she makes sure everyone else is aware of that too.
Nikki: Sophie Herscu will never let you down on the field with her superb throwing accuracy and powerful hucks. Her throws never cease to amaze me. In addition, freshman Lisi Lohre has also been making some of our most epic deep plays with her huge hucks. On O Hannah Sohl is faster than light. Nothing makes me happier than having her as a cutter when I’m handling because she will always be perfectly timed, always catch it, and always do it with style. In addition, stolen from the rugby team last year, Roz Brokow and Grace Bronfman are two of our best receivers. Grace’s in cuts are a force to reckon with and Roz, at 5’9 and with legs like a gazelle, is fire as a deep cutter.
Kate: Oh man…We have so many awesome cutters! Sophomore Rebecca Mitchell dominates the in-cut, making creative and quick cuts in any situation. Senior Anna Johnson uses her height and field awareness to run down and catch any huck that’s put up for her. On D, sophomore Taylor Kanemori is fearless, using her speed to challenge almost any disc that’s up in the air.
It’s easy to see when someone throws a huge huck or gets a layout D. Who’s a player you have to watch more carefully to see how valuable she is to your team?
Hannah Sohl and Sophie Herscu:
Senior Kate Wihtol has unmatched composure on the field. Her role as a consistent and reliable handler always working immensely hard is indispensable to ‘Strata as a whole. Both her calm on and off-field leadership inspires everyone on the team to take a deep breath and remember why we love Ultimate. Kate’s work on and off the field for the team will make the difference for us this season.
Hailing from Amherst, MA, sophomore Nikki Kaufman is one of the most versatile players on ‘Strata. In a tight game she will be placed in every position, from deep cutter to handler. Her expertise and knowledge of the game makes her able to consistently throw and catch even when the pressure is on. Kaufman is a trusted leader of this team and will be the one to watch closely this year and in years to come.
How does your team bring new players up to speed on ultimate?
Hannah Sohl: This year we have had incredible turnout, overall we have had approximately 55 women consistently too practices. Of those more than 30 are completely green. This has given us an opportunity as a program to really focus of skill development and fundamentals for everyone. It has been incredible how quickly everyone has picked up the sport. We hosted a rookie tournament this year and have also had some showcase “returner” scrimmages in order to show the new players what ultimate can look like and hopefully get them excited about the sport! We are pumped to see what all the rookies will do this season, and are optimistic that they will make some serious noise.
What does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Sophie: Well let’s see…we’re tall, athletic, and love to run. Guesses anyone? Mostly we rely on team chemistry and trust, and let the rest figure itself out.
Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Hannah: Our primary goal this season is to really form the foundation of a long-lasting Ultimate program at CC. This year we have more number, skill, athleticism, commitment and heart then we have ever had in the past and we are excited to play to our full potential and make some national noise. Watch out for strata!
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Emily, Coach: We are teaching the rookies how to play! We hosted a rookie tournament in October where teams had to play with at least 3 rookies on the field at all times. We also just came back from a tournament down in New Mexico where we split into X/Y teams and it was CCX vs CCY in the finals.
So far this year we’ve been making sure everyone is psyched on ultimate itself and on the team. By maintaining a trusting and inclusive environment, we’ve kept it fun while still learning a crap load. We started at basics for returners and rookies alike, to make sure everyone is fundamentally sound before we move on to more advanced strategy. We’ve hosted a tournament and have gone to two others. We hope the team energy we are building now carries over to the regular season!
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Claire: We are just now finalizing plans to go to college Centex which is going to be sick! I hope it will really make us pick up our game and that it will provide us with an opportunity to show the college scene what Lysistrata can accomplish. Centex is the tourney I am most excited for. I played mixed club this past season, and though it was great, it will be exciting to finally play high-level ultimate at a tourney with the girls I practice with year-round. There’s definitely something to say for the camaraderie that develops through a year or even four years of playing with good friends and awesome athletes.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Kate: Lysistrata likes to get pumped up with a combination of cheers, mental exercises, and self-choreographed dance routines. We envision what we want to accomplish individually in each game. The variety of players and personalities on our team creates a really fun atmosphere. We love to come up with new cheers and dance moves over long car rides and cramped nights sleeping in hotel rooms or on friends’ floors. We love STRATA!
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Nikki: Desire by Pharoahe Monch…obviously
Claire: I am definitely a fan of the boundary changes. Previously during regionals we played teams from as far away as California. With the new restructuring we definitely don’t have as many travel limitations. Unfortunately the number of bids we have was reduced and so now our region is going to be super competitive for nationals (but I have full expectations of battling for the #1 spot this year). As for the new D1 and D3 limitations, I think they will work well if Ultimate keeps growing at the same pace. Hopefully the direction of USA ultimate has taken won’t limit the spirit of the game, but instead help it keep growing strong. Viva Ultimate!
Which team has the best shot at winning the 2011 USA Ultimate Women’s College Championships?
Taylor: In past years there have been standout teams very early on from merely the names on their rosters, but this year things have really changed. Now that the class of 2010 has graduated many women’s teams who found themselves on top the last couple of years are going to be in a state of rebuilding. The University of Washington (Whoot Seattle!) always has an amazing group of girls in both talent and personality. Oregon also has a very solid roster not loosing that many players from the senior class. There are of course other teams that will always be mentioned but I really think that Nationals is anyones to win. I am excited because Lysistrata has a strong chance of going to nationals for the first time in our history, and we are ready for the ultimate community to become very familiar with our team and our talent.