To kick off our open tryout weekend for the 2022 season, The Arizona Sidewinders took on the first Desert Collegiate All-Star Team in a showcase game last Saturday night. Players representing the desert conference universities, Arizona State University (ASU), University of Arizona (UA), Northern Arizona University (NAU), and University of New Mexico (UNM), were nominated by their coaches to participate on the All-Star team. The Arizona Sidewinders made their debut at home with a reunion roster from 2020.
The All-Star team met for the first time on Saturday morning for a practice with the Sidewinders head coaches, Harrison Schwarzer and Zac Petty. The college players used this time to build chemistry and new relationships with their usual college opponents. In addition, they were introduced to higher level concepts of the game. The Sidewinders practiced simultaneously at the same fields led by captains, LP Aragon and Helen Eifert, following a joint warm up with the collegiate team. Players from both teams got together for a potluck mixer after practice before the game.
After narrowly securing a venue at Mountain View High School in Mesa, over 60 fans show up to watch the Sidewinders take on their next generation. Mark Borger, ASU Caliente coach, and Mel Huegerich, NAU Jines in the Pines coach, led the Desert Collegiate team as head coaches during the showcase. The All-Stars opened up with a hold and put up four points against the pros for a final score of 4-19 in favor of the Sidewinders. Arizona's Ashley Stahl (#1) and Kay Powell (#51) stood out for the Sidewinders, reeling in most of their goals. The All-Stars had big plays from ASU's Abbey Estrada and Cameron Helm with NAU's Lex Mohler, Vic Lopez, and UNM's Aspen Shafer working the disc in handler space.
"Seeing what's possible is motivating to keep working and improving my game."
The event was a great showcase of Arizona women-matching players across generations. The Sidewinders look forward to making the collegiate showcase an annual event leading into our open tryout. More college players came out to tryouts this year than in 2020 and our next generation of players might be closer than we think. "I felt honored to be included with such impressive, hardworking, and incredible athletes. Seeing what's possible is motivating to keep working and improving my game. Thank you for being the badasses that you are and growing the women's ultimate community" said one of the All-Stars of the experience.
All-Star players with their university alumna and coaches (UMN not pictured)