Southeast: 2012 Women’s Preview

by | January 11, 2012, 4:00am 0

In 2011, the Southeast Region title was fairly easily won by a strong Florida FUEL team. But after some incredibly close finishes among the region’s top teams in the pre-season, the Southeast could be anyone’s region to reign over in the Women’s Division.

Central Florida Sirens

Central Florida has been knocking at the door of the top regional teams for years. 2012 could be the year where they stake their claim. The Sirens have the strongest roster of their program’s three-year history. The team has had an incredibly strong pre-season, blowing out all the competition out at One Knight Stand (Orlando, FL), losing only to the Atlantic Coast’s perennial qualifier North Carolina in the semi-finals of Classic City Classic, and securing a huge win over regional rival Georgia.

Aside from the graduation of defensive powerhouse Leisha Cavallero, the Sirens return nearly their entire roster from 2011. Returning players Erin Godding, Sam Young, and Eryn Ivey are stepping up their game, and have become big contributors, especially on defense. On offense, the Sirens have picked up Stacey Herdegen, a graduate of Southern Florida, who has seamlessly transitioned to her new team. The team is led by co-captains Mariel Hammond and First Team All-Region player Ashley Schermerhorn, dominant players on both sides of the disc. Schermerhorn has the potential to be a Callahan frontrunner if the Sirens can perform well during their intense spring season schedule: Florida Warmup Classic, Queen City Tune-Up, Midwest Throwdown, and Centex.

Georgia Dawgma

Georgia's Melissa Merrill with the grab.

Georgia is looking to avenge its regional championship loss to claim the title in 2012. The team has lost only two games in the pre-season, one to North Carolina, and one to regional rival Central Florida. Do not let the team’s lack of experience fool you. What the team lacks in veteran players, it makes up in depth and athleticism. This incredibly deep roster of twenty-three players looks to fill the roles of graduating players and spring study abroad losses. Georgia’s focus on winning “games-to-three,” helps the team focus on playing with poise and intensity.

Cari Levison lays out for Georgia during the pre-season.

On the sidelines, Coach Amble Johnson will be returning for a third season, looking to lay the foundation of a strong program, by developing the players, and helping them live up to their full potential. Captains Ally Patrick, Julia Fuster, and Emily Lloyd, are able to bring experience, poise, and intensity on both sides of the disc, as well as throws to lead the team’s offense. Supported by strong leaders such as handler Courtney Farrell, Anraya Palmer, Georgia also returns seniors Amelia Kane and Robin Sausseville, hoping to make their final season count by leading the team to the 2012 College Championships. The team also fills out their roster with transfer Lily Stockton, and a handful of talented rookies making a case for Southeast Region Freshman of the Year.

The team looks to start its road to the College Championships with a strong schedule with tough competition at Florida Winter Classic, Queen City Tune-Up, Music City Mash-up, Centex, and the Series.

Florida FUEL

FUEL player with a sick bid. - Photo by Kevin Leclaire (

Florida, coming off of a 15th place finish at the USA Ultimate Divison 1 College Championships in 2011, is looking to repeat its regional title. The team has struggled a bit in the pre-season, with an 8-4 record, with losses to Florida State, Virginia and North Carolina State, but aims to find its stride by the time the team heads into the post season.

One of the biggest challenges ahead for FUEL will be filling the role of the team’s most dominant players in 2011, All-Region selections Pav Birk (First Team) and Kate Cobelens (Second Team). The team has spent much of its efforts in laying the foundation for the spring, choosing to develop younger players and making adjustments that will play up their strengths. The team has only three true rookies and was able to bring up six players from their B team, DIESEL. FUEL also adds Lili Morris, a fifth-year from Colorado, who has talent and composure to be a leader on the field. Captains Jackie Fane and Lyndsey Hearn-Hoover are also two names that should gain some more attention this spring.

FUEL trains hard with Tim Morril to prep for the spring.

FUEL seems to be taking a new approach to the 2012 season by training more seriously. The team has consulted Tim Morrill to help put together a program that combines weights and conditioning, to give the team a competitive edge on the field.

FUEL is rising to the challenge this spring, and looking to peak at the right time: the Series. Club president and fourth year player Jenna Dahl, says “I think a lot of the teams in our region won’t expect much from us because we dropped seed at [One Knight Stand and Classic City Classic]. But the L’s on score reporter don’t bother us. Reflecting on last year’s trip to Nationals, we understand what it takes to get there.”

Other Teams to Watch

Southern Florida will be looking to upset the top teams of the region. “FSU has grown a lot since last season, and they will definitely be a dark horse,” say Central Florida co-captains Ashley Schermerhorn and Mariel Hammond. “We can’t afford to underestimate them with players like Megan Reeves, Tiffany Clarkson, Sarah Clark, and Jacki Jerrems.”

Emory, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Vanderbilt are all looking to claw their way into the top tier, by Regionals. Do not count out any of these teams to make a strong run by the 2012 College Series. They all have top players and have proved that they can keep up with and beat some big teams in past seasons.

Players to Watch

  • FUEL player gets up for the D.

    Julia Fuster (Georgia) – Second Team All-Region player in 2011, Fuster makes plays on both sides of the disc for Dawgma. She will shut down your best player, get the D, and get the score, as a go-to receiver.

  • Lane Siedor (Georgia) – The Southeast’s First Team FOTY from 2011 will be returning, looking to fill roles vacated by graduating players for Dawgma.
  • Ashley Schermerhorn (Central Florida) – Schermerhorn, a First Team All-Region selection in 2011, is one of the region’s best players. She may even one of the best players you haven’t heard of on the College Scene this season. This handler is a huge play maker for the Sirens.
  • Megan Reeves (Florida State) –  The junior from Florida State is a leader on the team. This First Team All-Region player in 2011, will be looking to lead the Seminole Ladies Ultimate Team to a regional title.
  • Leah Tsinajinne (Georgia Tech) – First Team All-Region player brings poise and athleticism to Georgia Tech. Tsinajinne hopes to help her team make some noise in 2012.
  • Lili Morris (Florida) – Cross-country pick up from Colorado adds serious experience to FUEL this year.

Feature photo by Kevin Leclaire (

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