The Eighth Man

First-Time Chaser Makes Waves in MLQ East

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Credit: Loring Masters

It was the first game of the 2014-15 season for the Rutgers University quidditch team. Teetering on the edge of snitch range against UNC on a chilly morning in College Park, Md., Rutgers needed an offensive spark. As Lindsay Marella subbed into the game, it did not take long for her to make an impact. On only her second offensive possession, she received a lob pass while streaking behind the hoops. Outrunning her defender and throwing a powerful shot past the arms of Tar Heel keeper Justin Cole, Marella scored her first-ever goal as a chaser in an official quidditch game.

After that shift at Maryland’s Turtle Cup, Marella never wore a white headband during a competitive match again.

Until she joined the New York Titans.

Seeing her raw athletic talent during the USQ season, coach Michael Parada encouraged Marella to try out for the MLQ squad at chaser–even though she played beater all season at Rutgers.

She never looked back.

In her first series with New York, Marella did not touch the ball all that much, but when she did, she took full advantage of her opportunities. Scoring three goals off of two shots, the 5-foot-8 New Jersey native boasted one of the most efficient performances of any player on the team. Not only did Marella get buckets, but she proved she could perform at a high level in every facet of the game as well. Playing without a turnover, she recorded an assist and had four takeaways–not too shabby for someone who only played about 5 minutes of competitive chasing before June.

As one might expect, she has only improved as the season has progressed. Against the Ottawa Black Bears, Marella showed that she has become more and more comfortable on the offensive. When she was not getting easy goals handed to her by Augustine Monroe’s pin-point passing, she found other ways to get buckets. Displaying savviness around the hoops and fostering an aggressive mentality, Marella scored opportunistic goals off of unsettled situations following missed shots by her teammates. Showing a quidditch IQ beyond her experience, she handled the quaffle confidently when she was given the chance and was not afraid to distribute the ball herself.

Credit: Loring Masters

Despite getting limited time with the quaffle in her hand throughout the summer, Marella has recorded at least one assist in each of New York’s series, which is something most chasers in the league cannot claim.

Even when things did not go well for the Titans as a team, Marella has still been able to produce. In a series against Boston where New York only scored 160 points over three games, Marella scored or assisted almost a fifth of the team’s goals. She did this all while only being limited to one a game in a series where turnovers were rampant.

Marella may only have nine full games of competitive chasing under her belt, but if New York is going to win the Benepe Cup on Saturday, Marella will be on the pitch wearing a white headband.

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