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Matt Gouchoe-Hanas || The 5 Toughest Matchups I've Faced

Matt Gouchoe-Hanas || The 5 Toughest Matchups I've Faced

Leandro Marx, Oregon Ego

Leandro has an incredible combination of speed and quickness. He was able to play me tight everywhere on the field and apply pressure. He is very positionally aware, so even though he was tight to me all the time, he knew not to bite on any fakes or moves I made into non-dangerous spaces. He guarded me in the semifinals of College Nationals in 2018. I remember being exhausted during that game because I had to work so hard to get open. Honestly, I just didn’t have a very good game, but I had success letting my throwers throw me to space, since Leandro was often face-guarding me and couldn’t see the disc. He is the single toughest matchup I ever faced in college. 

Walden Nelson, Chicago Machine

Walden is a special handler defender. Not only does he have all the normal tools like quickness, anticipation, positional awareness, and great footwork but he also plays with his head up as well as anyone. Walden is such a tough matchup because he not only challenges and applies pressure on me but also clogs up space for my teammates. He shrinks the field for the offense, so in order for me to be successful against Walden I not only have to do my job in catching resets and switching the field but I also have to make sure Walden isn’t in the way of my teammates doing their jobs. It’s a tall task. I remember matching up with Walden in Pool Play of Club Nationals in 2018. He made my life very hard and forced me to run all over the field just to keep him out of the way of teammates and focused on me. I have so much respect for Walden’s game and have tried to incorporate many parts of his playstyle into my own. 

Sol Yanuck, Carleton CUT

I learned so much of what I know now from watching and playing with Sol early in my career. As a result, matching up with Sol is really tough because he knows all my moves; he knows what I want. As a handler defender he’s incredibly disciplined, and he uses his length really well to apply pressure while not overcommitting. He is the single hardest mark for me to break because my favorite break throws are the same as his. He’s smart and predictive, constantly working to anticipate my next move. The game that stands out most in my mind is from Pool Play of 2017 College Nationals. Sol slowed me down a lot and made it tough for me to find a rhythm as a thrower. The only thing I had success with was pushing downfield into the cutter space and challenging Sol to defend me in bigger spaces.

 

Austin von Alten, NC State Alpha

Austin may have the best lateral quickness of any player I’ve played against. That in combination with his elite overall athleticism makes him a nightmare to try to get open on. Austin is also a very intelligent player. He knows how to play to his strengths, and he knows how to identify the tendencies of his opponents. In many scenarios, Austin knew what I wanted to do. I’ve played against Austin so many times that it’s hard to identify one game, but if I had to choose one that sticks out it would be North Carolina sectionals from 2017. I just remember feeling helpless trying to get open downfield with Austin fronting me and my normal moves not working against him. 

Tim McCallister, Raleigh Ring of Fire

Tim is a very unique defender. He is quick in small spaces and positionally aware, but what sets him apart is his strength. Tim plays a very physical, tight-to-the-body style of defense. He’s tough to get open on because he’s always so close, and it’s difficult to get away from him because he’s big and strong and can keep up in small spaces. Tim and I have always been teammates, so we haven’t matched up in a game before, but we’ve had plenty of battles in practices. We match up frequently in drills and scrimmages, and I’m always left feeling like I need to spend more time in the weight room. I’ve learned that when Tim guards me I can’t stand still, otherwise he’ll get too close and I won’t be able to get away. My best chance at success is to move constantly and drift around so he can’t get set.