Great Lakes: 2012 Women’s Preview

by | January 9, 2012, 7:28am 0

2012 may be a repeat of last season, with the domination of two teams at the top. Northwestern and Flywheel both return talented rosters, looking to keep their bids to the College Championships.

Michigan Flywheel

Flywheel's Paula Seville sets up her move - Photo by Kevin Leclaire (

Flywheel dominated the Great Lakes Region in 2011. 2012 looks like it should be a repeat. The real question will be Flywheel’s ability to overcome the loss of Becky Malinowski, Kim Culpan, and Katie Poulos, who combined for 52 goals for Michigan’s runner-up finish at the 2011 College Championships. However, from the way the pre-season has gone, the team seems to be on the right track after winning Classic City Classic by a three-point margin over North Carolina at the end of the pre-season.

Helping propel the team to a strong finish in 2012 is a strong returning leadership core of co-captains Paula Seville and Kelsey DeLave and coach (former captain) AnnaMaria “AMP” Paruk. All three have been named All-Region players and have plenty of leadership experience, and bring consistency to the roster from 2011 to 2012.

Michigan still has some big names in the game. Seville should earn some Callahan nods, as she consistently led the team in assists last season, and is one of the best handlers in the women’s college game in 2012. Her unstoppable big backhand huck, combined with the ability to give-and-go, makes her a multi-faceted threat on offense. Look for Theresa Zettner (2nd Team FOTY) to play a larger role on the team both offensively and defensively. Additionally, Flywheel adds Marisa Mead, a former Zeitgeist and UCLA standout, to their roster.

Co-captain Paula Seville says, “We really liked our trajectory last season and we’re looking to do the same thing this year. Early on we’re focusing on building everyone’s skills and athleticism and generate really strong team chemistry…we are going to have the opportunity to play a lot of really strong teams all throughout the spring.”

Northwestern Gung Ho

GungHo gets the grab. - Photo by Kevin Leclaire (

Gung Ho must also combat huge losses. Perennial All-Region selections Sara Miller, Sarah Hong, and Christine O’Brien leave big shoes to fill. However, Lien Hoffman alone is enough to give any team a headache. Hoffman should also be at the top of your Callahan radars for 2012. She is speedy and can dominate offensively from the handler or cutter position. She played a huge role on both sides of the disc for Northwestern in past seasons, and will do the same in 2012. Gung Ho also looks to Jenni Li and Stephanie Wang to step up in huge ways this season, contributing on both sides of the disc.

Coach Ron Kublanza says that the team has a positive outlook on the upcoming season. “We are looking to be better than the previous year and shooting for elimination rounds at Nationals. We are also dedicated to the development of our program and will again strive to establish a competing B team.”

Valparaiso Chicks Hucking Discs

2011 Division 3 semi-finalists, the Valparaiso Chicks Hucking Discs, could be this year’s “Colorado College” story. The team returns a remarkably strong roster, taking 2nd place at No Wisconsequences and throwing the disc like the ridiculous wind had no effect. If the team chooses to accept a bid to compete at Division 1 Regionals, rather than compete at the Division 3 College Championships, Valparaiso may be a team to beat at regionals.

Other teams to watch:

Indiana had a roller coaster fall pre-season. The Calamity Janes took 2nd at Glory Days and won Whitesmoke in October, and went on to tie for 14th at Missouri Loves Company. If the team can add some depth to its top-heavy roster, the y could turn some heads later in the season. Illinois may also look to make a play by the post-season. Menace looked strong in their pre-season tournaments, and appears to have more depth than they have had since their last appearance at the College Championships. Notre Dame and Purdue are also teams to watch out for, as they both have history fielding strong teams, especially during the spring.

Players to Watch

  • Paula Seville (Michigan) – Likely Callahan front runner and All-Region returner leading the defending national runner-up team. She is a versatile handler, who can dominate in all weather.
  • Lien Hoffman (Northwestern) – Makes plays on O and D. She can run Gung Ho’s offense from both a cutter or handler role.
  • Vicki Chang (Michigan) – Speedy, tricky handler that can really give a defense some trouble.
  • Kelsey DeLave (Michigan) – All-Region in 2010, look for her to make a huge impact in 2012 for Flywheel.


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