Will They or Won’t They: Arizona State University, No. 10 College


When it comes to quidditch analysis, a name often means more than talent in identifying “star players.” Those with less skill get all of the praise because they’re active in the community, while those with more get overlooked again and again.

So, for Northeast Regionals, we’re hoping to flip the script a bit. The list below is full of players that are in the conversation for being some of the best in the region at their position, but few of their reputations expand past the borders of the city they play in. But, name recognition or not, these are some players you’re going to want to check out this weekend.

 

Brian Zanghi – Chaser – Boston Massacre

When I first teased the idea of this article, I got multiple responses that I was writing the “Brian Zanghi” article. So, I felt I had to give the people what they wanted. A year in the Emerson intramural system gave him the experience he needed, while a transfer from Emerson to Boston University gave the Massacre the chance to snatch him up. And,on a team full of talented, and even elite, quaffle players, one could make the argument that Zanghi is the most complete. While each has their weaknesses, Zanghi does everything well, with enough strength, speed and agility to perform well on both sides of the ball, whether passing, driving, or defending. He also has benefitted from the team’s bigger names getting more defensive attention. But the praise is coming, and it’s time to see how the young player will respond.

After a year plying his trade in the Emerson intramural system, Brian Zanghi is now a game-changer for Massacre. Credit: Emily Oliver

After a year plying his trade in the Emerson intramural system, Brian Zanghi is now a game-changer for Massacre. Credit: Emily Oliver

 

James Richter – Chaser – Stony Brook University

Richter is a new chaser for SBU, and he has certainly brought this team even more physicality. James playes the defensive point position well for his youth in the sport. Richter has both the size and strength to tackle any player. But he’s extremely inexperienced, and has yet to develop a full understanding of the sport. He sometimes makes questionable drives, but makes up for it with his athleticism and passing ability.

 

Michael Powell – Chaser – Boston University

How a player of this size and talent continues to get overlooked is beyond me. While Brendan Stack, Max Havlin and Katrina Bossotti get all of the attention, Powell is just as important, providing big minutes and the same kind of physicality as Stack. On defense, Powell usual plays point, with a tackling form as good as anyone in the region. On offense, he’s comfortable handling, playing off ball, and running the patented BU break. The Terriers’ offensive production has always remained almost anonymous, but Powell should change that this weekend.

 

Eli Page – Chaser – Emerson College

Page shouldn’t be a no-name anymore, as I’ve talked about him on multiple occasions, but he’s worth mentioning one more time. Arriving on campus expecting to play lacrosse, Page showed up at a quidditch practice and almost instantly decided to commit himself to the sport instead. All he’s done since is, despite being relatively undersized, become the best point defender on Emerson’s roster. He’s not only comfortable tackling opposing chasers of any size while square to them, but also when taking angles to them or running alongside them. With him at the top of the zone, Emerson’s beaters can sit comfortably a step back, knowing the opposition isn’t coming through. And while the offense isn’t quite where the defense is yet, expect that to change sooner than later.

Despite his size, Eli Page has quickly become one of the Northeast's best point defenders. Credit: Michael E. Mason/IQA Staff

Despite his size, Eli Page has quickly become one of the Northeast’s best point defenders. Credit: Michael E. Mason/IQA Staff

 

Jerry Astro – Chaser – New York Badasslisks

A new chaser for the Badassilisks, Astro gives this team an impressive point defender, taking a lot of pressure off his beaters and allowing them more freedom in their positioning and decisions. Despite Astro’s defensive abilities, he lacks similar offensive ability. While he shouldn’t be ignored on defense if Jerry can play both sides of the ball he will become an elite threat on this team.

 

Carli Haggerty – Chaser – Harvard University

It shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise, but when you take a 6-foot-0 ex-basketball player with a high school state championship to her name and insert her into quidditch, good things happen. The sophomore is already making a name for herself, applying much of the positioning and movement ingrained into her and putting it to use. She’s a difficult assignment for almost any female chaser that covers her, and when she gets the ball has the confidence to drive to the hoops or make a man miss. While her team will have to continue to work on getting her the ball, her display in an Emerson mercenary tournament, when she had the chance to play with more experienced distributors, impressed everyone there. While Tufts’ female chasers get most of the attention in Boston, Haggerty is right up there.

 

Duane Ford – Chaser/Seeker – Syracuse University
Another new player, Duane is a phenomenal athlete, who uses his speed and quickness to drive to the hoops for goals. He also has a fairly good arm and can make good passes when heavily covered. Beyond his skill as a chaser however, Duane is a very skilled seeker as well as a snitch. He is incredibly strong, and uses his quickness and strength to get through a snitch’s guard to make a pull. But don’t be too surprised to see him jump over a snitch to make the grab.

 

Kyle Savarese – Beater – Rochester Institute of Technology.

Transitioning from chaser this year, Savarese has, along with Josh Kramer, helped breathe new life into  RIT’s beater corps. Savarese is a very speedy beater with good positioning, who uses his mobility to set up short throws on defense as well as going up on offense to assist RIT’s drives. He is also adept at regaining bludger control, and has been known to completely change the bludger game with clutch catches.

 

Fina Vitale – Beater – Macaulay Honors College

Vitale has given the female beater line in Macaulay a new dynamic: speed. She utilizes that speed, along with solid arm strength, to anchor the Macaulay defense. While she brings an athletic boost, she does lack the experience that would make her an elite player. But, when confident in herself, she is a dangerous force on the pitch.

 

David Stack – Keeper – Tufts University

Every Northeast class seems to have one truly elite keeper, from John Gaffigan to Brendan Stack to David Fox to Victor Viega. Well, it’s time for Tufts to add one to the list. Freshman David Stack – no relation to Brendan – is a complete keeper. His strengths are on the offensive end, where he mixes an accurate cannon of an arm with speed and one of the sweetest head fakes ever seen in quidditch. He’s not only talented, but consistently makes those around him better. While his defense is not at the elite level of Brendan of Fox, due partially to the fact that he’s smaller, he’s improving rapidly, relying heavily on positioning to make plays. While Steve Mulahoo remains the team’s number one keeper due largely to doing what he does well, I expect Stack to be the better overall player when all is said and done.

 

Brandon McKenzie – Keeper – University of New Haven

Many teams that are overall more competitive than New Haven would kill to have a player of McKenzie’s athletic ability. Objectively, his size, speed, and vertical ability are all elite. But, often times, he does not apply it all in the game. With his team’s move to the BAQC from the SNEQC this season, McKenzie will get more experience against stronger teams, and I expect him to improve rapidly because of it. But it’s a double-edged sword, as stronger teams will be better at preventing him from expressing his talents. McKenzie might break out this weekend, but he also could be held in check as his team struggles.

 

If his team is up to the task, it could be a breakout tournament for Brandon McKenzie. Credit: Michael E. Mason/IQA Staff

If his team is up to the task, it could be a breakout tournament for Brandon McKenzie. Credit: Michael E. Mason/IQA Staff

Ben Icenogle – Keeper – University of Rochester.
A sophomore who started playing quidditch this year and who made his start for the Thestrals at Turtle Cup, Icenogle has utilized his basketball experience and length to become a formidable defensive keeper for Rochester. With starting keeper/seeker Justin Kieber-King out for Rochester, Icenogle can expect to be playing a lot of minutes this weekend, and his ability to sync with the Rochester offense will have a huge impact on their prospects.

 

Kyle Hoyng – Keeper – SUNY Geneseo.
A key veteran on a young team, Hoyng’s abilities as a leader will impact the team just as heavily as his skills on the field this weekend. Kyle is a quick and strong keeper with good field vision, and an excellent arm. He does an excellent job of driving and dishing the ball off to his other chasers for goals, and is a very stout defender, harkening back to the old build of Geneseo teams.

Devin Sandon and Shenuque Tissera contributed reporting to this article.

 







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