Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Second Team All Stars

(K) Tony Rodriguez
Photo by Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff
No player has ever revolutionized a team as much as Tony Rodriguez. The Lost Boys were a mediocre team before the transfer of Rodriguez, picking up their only wins in games against teams that weren't competitive and getting blown out by the big boys of the West. Rodriguez was, in many ways, the missing piece to a talented lineup that featured one of the best seekers in the game and a great beater pair. Rodriguez, an imposing physical presence to spearhead the offense, plays a fundamentally sound all around game. His shooting, driving and passing are superb and playing with injury, Rodriguez helped the Lost Boys become the first community team to ever reach the Elite Eight. The Lost Boy keeper is extremely dedicated to improving and has traveled and played with the West's best at West by Southwest and at the Cinco de Mayo Cup.

(C) Bobby Roth & (C) David Demarest
Bobby Roth, of Marquette and David Demarest of USC, have all the athletic talent a player could want. Both excellent point players and feared tacklers, Demarest and Roth are the leaders of their chasing cores on their respective teams. Roth, tall and long, is a physical, hard-hitting defender. His shots and passes whiz by the defense with stunning speed and accuracy. Roth is not afraid to initiate contact when driving and his ability to run through tackles demonstrates his strength. Marquette and Roth's performance at World Cup VI was underwhelming, but the blue and yellow collected plenty of hardware in the fall, winning the Midwest Regional Championship and placing second in the Collegiate Cup.

Photo by Kat Ignatova/IQA Staff
David Demarest has lived in the shadow of August L├╝hrs and Remy Conatser at USC, and doesn't receive the credit he deserves. Playing a much more controlled and smart game than his Trojan teammates, Demarest has a broad skills set that includes trucking, penetration and dishing out the quaffle. The Trojan chaser has the build of, and is, a fantastic power chaser. Demarest was greatly missed by USC at World Cup VI and with Demarest, USC could have easily been a Final Four team.

(C) Paul Williard
Baylor chaser Paul Williard is an amazing player on both ends of the pitch. His quickness and agility make him one of the most dangerous players off the ball in the IQA. Williard always finds ways to get open and is a master of give and goes. Streaking down the field, or making sharp cuts behind the net, his vertical allows Baylor's point players to lob him high passes over the opposing keeper for goals. On defense, Williard's strength is his vision. Normally sticking to his hoop like glue, #10 pops out suddenly to intercept passes and race down the pitch. Blocking shots and retrieving loose balls from missed shots are also strengths of the Baylor captain. Teams playing against Baylor should attempt to target the other side of the pitch more because on Williard's side, turnovers will be more common than goals.

Photo by Lauren Carter

(B) Brittany Ripperger & (B) Katrina Bossoti
Both from BUs, Baylor's Brittany Ripperger and Boston's Katrina Bossoti are some of the smartest, most strategic beaters in the sport of the quidditch. Ripperger and Bossoti can pounce of loose quaffles allowing their team to regain possession, kill drives by stopping the player in his/her tracks with a timely beat and pressure players into making bad passes. Rarely losing bludger control, neither beater seems to make bad mistakes or inaccurate beats. Ripperger is the unsung hero in Baylor's rise to prominence and her beating is vital Baylor's signature defensive strategy. With a regional championship and a World Cup final four appearance, she will undoubtedly continue to pick up trophies and tournament titles. Bossoti, coming out of the Northeast, returned for World Cup VI after winning Northeast Regionals in the fall, and despite missing a semester's worth of practice, played as Boston's MVP. Both Ripperger and Bossoti have revitalized the position of female beater.

(S) Keir Rudolph
Photo by Madeline Finn
Called the "Jeremy Lin of quidditch," (props to whoever came up with that on Facebook) Keir Rudolph, Kansas' seeker, is a freshman sensation. The hype surrounding Keir Rudoplh since his perfect performance at Missouri's Spring Breakout Tournament had been previously unheard of. Rudolph lived up to expectations at World Cup VI, snatching victory against eventual semifinalist Baylor in pool play and helping Kansas advance to the Elite Eight. Wrapping his long arms around snitches, Rudolph can only improve in the next three years and it will be exciting to see him take the position of seeker to a whole new level.

(C/B/S) Sean Pagoada
Photo by Monica Wheeler
Miami's Sean Pagoada, who earned a Team USA chaser spot, converted to beater in 2012-13 and also worked his way into the Hurricanes' seeker rotation. Truly embodying a utility player, Pagoada excels at every position he's played, bringing energy and determination every time he steps on the pitch. Pagoada is a fearsome point defender with a white headband and he is difficult to take down. Armed with a bludger, Pagoada is quick, darting across the field to make strategic beats and occasionally unleashing his cannon. Pagoada also seeked behind David Moyer in 2012-13. Although Miami has a large rotation of seekers, Moyer and Pagoada were most successful (at WCVI) due to their contrast in styles. Pagoada works tirelessly on the snitch, grappling and reaching for the snitchsock. Miami placed second at the Hollywood Bowl, first at Southern Regionals and had the third best point differential after Day One of WCVI (playing in the pool of death). Weaving in and out of a lineup, switching positions and providing anything a team needs, unselfishly, makes the perfect utility player.

Second Team
Keeper-Tony Rodriguez
Chaser-Bobby Roth
Chaser-David Demarest
Chaser-Paul Williard
Beater-Brittany Ripperger
Beater-Katrina Bossoti
Seeker-Keir Rudolph
Utility-Sean Pagoada

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