The Eighth Man

MARC All-Tournament Team

This past weekend showcased every official team in the Mid-Atlantic and gave us a great opportunity to compare players across positions. Looking at the results, The Eighth Man Correspondent Ricky Nelson and guest contributor Max Miceli put together a squad of players they felt showed immense value to their teams throughout the weekend and, together, could conceivably give any other team a run for their money.


 

Credit: Isabella Gong

Credit: Isabella Gong

Justin Cole (Keeper, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)
Cole may be a freshman, but he sure did not play like one last weekend. Making up for starting keeper Andrew McGregor’s self-proclaimed less-than-stellar weekend, Cole was UNC’s second leading scorer at the tournament. With elusive moves around the hoops; an accurate, mid-range shot; and savvy, off-ball cuts, Cole proved to be a true offensive utility.

Cole’s offense was not what put him on this list though. It was his defense. Exhibiting an uncanny ability to stop the ball around the hoops, Cole read opposing offenses like a book, blocking shots and passes galore all weekend. He did not just stand by the hoops either. When his chasers fell victim to mismatches, Cole consistently made smart slides, helping UNC give its best defensive showing of the year thus far.
– MM


 

Erin Mallory (Chaser, University of Maryland)
I could go on and on about how Mallory is the best female chaser in the Mid-Atlantic and one of the top in the world. I could walk you through the play she made in the last five seconds of overtime. I could describe, in detail, the stiff arm to create just enough space to get a shot off around a long-armed defender. I could waste about five minutes of your time bragging about all of her abilities. Or I could just show you this again:

‘Nough said.
– MM


 

Credit: Isabella Gong

Credit: Isabella Gong

Max Miceli (Chaser, UNC)
The cornerstone of the UNC offense, Miceli put up more points than anyone else on his team. He is the main reason UNC made it to the finals. And in a game where every point mattered, he scored as many goals against Maryland as entire teams Maryland has previously encountered. The most proficient at driving on his team, he has proven that he is an outside threat as well, scoring from range three times in the finals. Though he still is a little clueless on defense, when he scores two goals for every point that gets past him, it seems to matter less and less.

Beyond his success on offense, it has to be noted that a team that was irrelevant just two years ago has grown up around him and not only made it to the final of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship but is also one half of one of the most exciting matches in recent memory. His impact on the program cannot be separated from his record as a player, even if he does skip back day at the gym.
– RN


 

Credit: Isabella Gong

Credit: Isabella Gong

Eric King (Chaser, Maryland)
A sophomore in the Maryland program, King is one of the biggest players they put on the pitch. Unlike most players his size who choose to barrel through as many people as they can find, King has created a role for himself posting up near the hoops, ready for a pass and a dunk at any given time. The unconventional positioning for a player of his size means he is on the positive end of a mismatch even when there are two or three people trying to stop him and a distributer has a safe passing option even when it is into coverage.

On defense, the fact of the matter is he is large enough to stop anyone trying to charge through him. He is also willing to hit the ground to grab a loose ball and, if necessary, take a card for the team when the game is on the line. Though maybe not through the flashiest plays, King consistently puts up the same points on offense that he denies the other team on defense. He is not the playmaker when he is in, but he is the gear that makes things possible and has the humility to put the team above himself, something that cannot be emphasized enough.
– RN


 

Credit: Kat Ignatova

Credit: Kat Ignatova

Kyle Bullins (Beater, UNC)
Bullins is a smart player. He has an accurate arm and an uncanny knack for dodging bludgers. With him, UNC managed to hold bludger control for the vast majority of the final, giving the offense just as much of an advantage as the defense. In regulation time, he was able to command the pitch not just on defense, but on offense as well. Bullins effectively used his physicality to tackle the opposing beaters whenever the opportunity presented itself.

He is certainly among the top three beaters in the Mid-Atlantic and, with Scott Axel abroad, it is easy to make a case for him as the best. For the team, it would have been better if he stayed in obscurity, but, unfortunately, his performance throughout the season has not allowed him to stay in the shadows. Teams far and wide are going to have to deal with him at the World Cup, and they will find that experience very unpleasant.
– RN


 

Credit: Kat Ignatova

Credit: Kat Ignatova

Isabella Newton (Beater, Maryland)
Newton takes point. In a sport where that probably means she is going to take a hit on most drives, it is rare to see players happily step up to the position, however, Newtown does so with a bludger. This beater features a good arm and a good head. She is also an all-around badass. Newton went into the the finals with a black eye either from playing a full-contact sport for two days or possibly from winning a fight at a biker bar… it remains unclear. Still, when someone is charging down pitch at her she does not flinch, she does not hesitate and she takes care of them.

For chasers to trust a beater at point, it requires confidence in both their skill and their physical presence. Newton has them both and will leave an impression—probably with little crosshatched patterns on your face. So a tip of the hat to this player who has stood her ground against waves of large, charging players and still did her job, taking home a second consecutive championship title along the way.
– RN


 

Credit: Isabella Gong

Credit: Isabella Gong

Harry Greenhouse (Seeker, Maryland)
This dude is intense. He goes hard. And that is why he is on this list. A 2014 Team USA utility player, Greenhouse is an anchor for Maryland. He is both a key player and an indispensable leader—whether it is scoring, playing tenacious defense, pumping up the sideline or catching snitches.

This makes it no surprise that we have put Greenhouse here as our All-MARC seeker. Going two-for-two in SWIM situations last weekend, the only time he could not catch the snitch was when time ran out for him in overtime during the final. Though the weekend seemed to have seriously exposed Maryland’s quaffle game, Greenhouse reminded us that as long as they can keep the game in snitch range, it is the Terrapins for the taking.
– MM


Honorable Mentions
Brendan O’Connor (Keeper, University of Richmond)
Darren Creary (Keeper, Virginia Commonwealth University)
Steve Minnich (Utility, Capital Madness)

2 Comments

  1. #QuidditchIsLyfe

    November 7, 2014 at 1:16 am

    Having watched the tournament, I find it hard to believe that the only players worthy of this list were from UNC and Maryland. They are clearly the top two teams in the region, but we must acknowledge individual superiority even if it is buried on an inferior roster.

  2. Kyle

    November 7, 2014 at 11:09 am

    This concept is kind of pointless when every player comes from the teams in the finals. Obviously these teams are full of good players, but to say that the best player at every position this weekend played for UNC or UMD is slightly ridiculous. Add that the two people choosing the team were FROM Maryland and UNC and we have a pretty laughable article.

    It could have been salvaged by giving blurbs to the players chosen for honorable mention, all of whom were impressive this weekend. I’d like to read the authors’ opinions on the play of those three.

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