Miranda Kosowsky (Pittsburgh)
When I think of tough matchups, a few players immediately come to mind. From the college season, some of the most difficult people to play defense on were Miranda (from Pitt) and Claire Trop. I played Miranda many times throughout the four years we overlapped in college. I remember that the first couple of times we defended each other I was surprised by the physicality of our matchup. It felt different from matchups I’d had in the past. Miranda knew how to use her body to shield the disc when pushing upline or crashing through a cup. I am also a physical player and was glad that there was a mutual respect between us. We both understood that the physicality was in good spirit, and if one of us felt that the other crossed the line, a stoppage was called, and it was quickly resolved. After the point, we were able to shake hands and smile and tell each other how much fun those points were.
Claire Trop (Dartmouth)
I only played against Claire at college nationals in 2019, as she was injured for some of that spring season, but the matchup was definitely the toughest I faced at the college championships. When we played Dartmouth in the semifinals, the wind was quite strong, and there were many throws that popped up into the air. The conditions often forced the offensive player to make a perfect read while boxing out defenders to make a contested catch high in the air. I found myself outmatched pretty much every time I went up against Claire in this circumstance. She has a precise sense of where she can intersect the disc at the earliest possible moment. I adjusted my positioning to guard her back hip to discourage deep looks, but her wise handlers knew I was no match for her in the air and continued to put the disc up. Matchups like this inspire me to be better the next time I am put in a similar situation. I have huge respect for her playstyle and love the challenge, which makes me seek out that matchup whenever possible, hoping for a little redemption.
Elisabeth Mosquera (Medellin Revolution)
In the PUL, one of the hardest matchups I faced offensively was Elisabeth Mosquera. In the championship game, I remember dreading the work ahead of me when I saw her setting up against me. I was scared of cutting on offence, knowing her closing speed is ridiculous. She got Ds on me several times that game by simply accelerating once the disc was in the air. Her legs clearly didn’t feel the weekend like mine did, even with Colombia’s much smaller roster size. With this matchup, I simply chose to take a backseat on offense, trying my best to pull Elisabeth shallow and let my teammates use the space to get open.
Lindsay McKenna (New York Gridlock)
Another challenging PUL matchup was Lindsay McKenna. Lindsay especially challenged me on the mark. I found that she not only has really long arms but is a very intelligent mark. She uses her feet well to shift her body to protect the area of the field I want to throw into. When I caught the disc on the sideline and she set her mark, I knew there was no way I was getting off my around flick. I had to hope something would open up in front of me.
Kami Groom (Boston Brute Squad)
I remember the first game I played against Kami (pool play at Pro Champs 2019) very clearly because from the moment I started watching ultimate as a college freshman, she was my idol. I was astounded by her speed and pinpoint throws. The way she effortlessly threw her body to catch the disc and always kept her cool on the field amazed me. I wanted to be like her one day. Last year when I got to play against her in Philadelphia, she did not disappoint. Her defense is impeccable. She is a master of dictation. I felt like she knew exactly where I wanted to go and didn’t fall for any jukes or shimmies, no matter how convincing. If I did catch the disc, I knew it was in a place on the field that Kami had pushed me into, certainly not my first choice of field positioning.