2013 Masters Women's Championships Preview

Posted: July 26, 2013 06:24 AM


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After a year’s hiatus, the Masters Women’s Championships are back and heading for Denver. In just a few short days, 16 teams, the largest field ever in the masters women’s division, will converge on Dicks Sporting Goods Park to fight for the 2013 title.

These teams represent the first great generation of female ultimate players. Many of the athletes who laid the groundwork for and have been a part of the greatest dynasties in the women’s division will hit the fields in Denver this weekend. Legends of the game who built teams like Lady Godiva and Fury are back to compete for yet another trophy to add to their already-stocked cases.

Outside of those teams from the Northwest, the only region with a qualifying tournament for the Masters Women’s Championships, these squads are largely untested and, therefore, unpredictable. But here is a look at what we do know.


Pool A




Lady O


The defending champions from the last Masters Women's Nationals held in 2011, Vancouver’s Stickdog, are back again this year with intentions of holding onto that title. And luckily for them, it looks like they may have the smoothest ride in the pool play rounds. Their 2013 roster has a wide range of youth and experience with players ranging in age from 30 to 54. They are missing the talents of Ultimate Canada Hall of Famer and creative handler Anja Haman this year, but their roster is by no means lacking. They are led again in 2013 by Val Dion, a dominant downfield receiver and big impact player. If they can leverage all aspects of their well-rounded group, they could be on a collision course with the finals again this year.

C.O.U.G.A.R.S. bring together talent from across the country. With women from Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado and beyond on their roster, their challenge will be to find some chemistry this weekend. Also, with several team members who are veterans of the mixed scene, it will be interesting to see how they adjust back to the women’s game.

One of three Boulder/Denver area teams, each seemingly representing a specific era of women’s ultimate in the Front Range, Jezebel harkens back to the days of Box. They will hope to make an impression on their home turf. Lady O is largely a conglomeration of former Ambush and current Bent women, with a smattering of players with mixed division experience in there for good measure. Lady O may be able to use their diverse experience to their advantage in making any necessary adjustments this weekend.


Pool B

Well Done

Baylands Kite Flying Team


First Ladies


Of the three masters women’s championships held so far in the 21st century, Well Done claimed the two Stickdog didn’t, in 2009 and 2010. Representing the age of Rare Air in Colorado women’s ultimate, these ladies know a thing or two about consistency – of the 21 people on their 2013 roster, 16 played together at the Championships in 2011. Fourteen were also a part of the team that won in 2010. When compared with the roster turnover of other teams in the division, the chemistry x-factor will likely tilt in Well Done’s favor this weekend.

Unfortunately for the two-time champs, the two seed in Well Done’s pool may very well be the most decorated women’s ultimate team to ever take the field. The Baylands Kite Flying Team from San Francisco, Calif., while a first-year team, is steeped in history. The roster boasts no fewer than six former World Games team members, including one two-time member in Dominique Fontenette; seemingly infinite World Ultimate Championships appearances; and countless Club National Championships. A large portion of the original Fury dynasty - captains, team leaders and unstoppable playmakers - will be making appearances with Baylands, along with friends from plenty of other heavy hitters: Lady Godiva, Scandal, Ozone, etc. After an underwhelming, albeit shorthanded, 3-5 performance at Northwest Regionals, including a 3-13 loss to Stickdog in the finals, Baylands comes into the Championships as the seventh overall seed. But one glance at the roster will tell you not to count them out of anything.

2011 finalists Darkhorse and the first-timer First Ladies will hope to ride the wave of their pool's heavy hitters. Darkhorse would love to challenge for a title again this year, but they have their work cut out for them. They landed in a difficult pool in 2013 and lost many of the athletes who made the run with them in 2011. Of the 21 women on their roster this year, only nine played in the finals in Ohio two years ago.

Nevertheless, some exciting games should go on in this pool. Definitely keep an eye on the Well Done v. Baylands match up, Friday at 3 p.m.


Pool C



Brood Squad



Retro reunites many of the original Backhoe ladies who were familiar fixtures in women’s ultimate in the Southeast for much of the 90s and 2000s. They’ve added a couple sets of young legs this time around but still have one of the highest overall ages in the tournament. Look for Mel Proctor and Beth Stagner to run the Retro show behind the disc, dishing to tireless cutters including Sara Dieter and Beth Gifford. Rachel Poore will likely anchor the defense.

Masters Championship veterans BH&G come into the 2013 Championships with the youngest average age in the field at 31.5 years. Based in Boise, Idaho but uniting in Denver from all corners of the Big Sky region, these ladies should have the altitude advantage on their side. While they don’t all live at altitudes equal to what they’ll see in Denver this weekend, their Montana/Utah contingent could play a big role while the rest of the squad acclimates to the thin, dry air.

Brood Squad follows up BH&G in both the pool’s seeding and average age – Brood Squad checks in at an average of 32.65 years. Their match up of young legs in Friday’s second round should be an exciting, athletic display.

Along with Well Done, the Safari-tarians are one of only two teams to have participated in each Masters Championships held thus far in the 21st century. Last time the event was in Boulder, in 2010, the Safari-tarians made it to the finals, where they fell to their fellow veterans from Well Done. If they can reconcile the playing styles of their younger athletes with those of their veterans, they will be an interesting team to watch this weekend. 


Pool D 

D1 Godiva

D2 Stormborn

D3 Atlantiques

D4 DirtyXXX


Another team born from the annals of ultimate history, Godiva combines members of Boston’s Lady Godiva squads from 1998 through 2009. Although the more-often heralded Godiva squads had their heyday in slightly earlier years, the veterans who will be in Denver this weekend can certainly hold their own. With the help of some stars from our neighbor to the north and some current Brute Squad players to round out the roster, this team has some promise. Besides, teams with "Godiva" in their name tend to come up big at championship-level events, and there is no reason to think this squad won’t live up to expectations.

Atlantiques is another team with a reunion feel. Ozone founder Chris O’Cleary anchors this team that is certainly not short on experience. They also have one of the larger rosters you will see this weekend, after incorporating friends with Atlanta ties who now reside in Texas, Tennessee and the Northeast. If they can use the depth provided by their full roster and adjust to other teams’ playing styles, this team could make some noise. Current club players like Tina Woodings and Lisa Etchison (both of Showdown) and Katherine Wooten (Ozone) will need to play a large role in making that happen.

The third Boulder/Denver area team in the field this weekend, DirtyXXX also includes players from California and Michigan. The team was organized with a goal of allowing as many women as possible to play at the masters level, even if their hometown areas don’t have the numbers to form a separate team.

As newcomers to the division this year, Stormborn is a bit of an enigma. Their relative anonymity may work to their advantage in Denver. Who knows if they will surprise some people this weekend?

Anyone who has been involved in the women’s ultimate community for any length of time will find something of interest at the Masters Women’s Championships in Denver this weekend. Many of the biggest names of the last 20 years are here. If you’re in the area, stop by Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to see the legends of the game battle it out with the same skill and competitive spirit that made them legends in the first place.

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