Saturday brought the Little Three Ultimate Championships to the Poker Flats Soccer fields. This was the first time in recent memory that such an event has been held, and excitement over the occasion ran high.
The first game of the day pitted the Williams Ultimate Frisbee Organization (WUFO) against Amherst. Amherst’s only victory over WUFO in twenty years of competition came a year ago at Sectionals, which made revenge WUFO’s number one priority. On the first point, Amherst tried to set a zone defense due to the blustery conditions, but Briton Mann ’99 looped an outside-in backhand around an Amherst defender to find Duncan Meiklejohn ’01 in the endzone. The WUFO domination continued as Mann acted as quarterback, finding Anton Blaikie ’99 and Yang Wang ’01 for scores.
It was not all offense, though, when at 3-1, Dan Niedzwiecki ’99 pulled the disc into the back of their endzone. The Ephs defense was able to shut down all of their cuts, forcing them to throw the disc away inside their own endzone. This turnover led to an easy pass from Niedzwiecki to Aaron DeCamp ’99 for the score.
In the windy conditions, the disc sometimes gets away, but WUFO was able to maintain their focus, hold onto the disc, and make solid passes like the one from Andrew Deichman ’01 to Tom Grant ’00 for the score. Amherst was simply unable to keep WUFO out of the endzone, and this became abundantly clear when Garry Sanders ’02 laid out for the score to take half 8-2.
The second half started in similar fashion as Mann found DeCamp for the score, and on the following point, Ben Warner ’99 skied two Amherst defenders in the endzone. Alan Baldivieso ’01 got in on the action when he made a nice give-and-go play with Meiklejohn which ended in a pass to DeCamp to make the score 11-2.
Amherst started to make a late comeback putting two points together to bring the score to 11-4, but WUFO was ready to move to the next game. Therefore Niedzweicki threw a beautiful hammer to Meiklejohn, Blaikie took advantage of a severe height advantage over his defender, and Brad Geddes ’00 made a nice cut to the corner of the endzone for the pass from Niedzweicki to end the game at 15-4 WUFO.
Wesleyan, one of the better ultimate teams in the Northeast, was next in line for WUFO. WUFO was first to pounce as Niedzweicki threw another beautiful hammer across the bewildered Wesleyan defense to find Meiklejohn in the endzone. Their offense then made its presence known by marching straight up the field with crisp tosses and sharp cuts. Pete Jones ’01 displayed excellent patience on the goal line and put a nice pass to DeCamp for the score.
The WUFO offense, though, then began to have problems. Their cuts were not as confident and their throws got a little sloppy. Luckily, the defense remained solid due to the hot play of Matt Wessler ’01, Henry Mathieu ’02, and Bailey McCallum ’01. Wesleyan was eventually able to take a small lead at 4-5, but this minor deficit must have sparked something in WUFO, because they immediately stopped turning over the disc and began playing smart offense when they were near the endzone. Using this patient offense WUFO went on a 6-1 run to bring the score to 11-6.
Austin Chang ’99 got in the game for a few points of solid handling. He was instrumental in maintaining the flow of the offense. At one point Niedzweicki sent a forehand the full length of the field. It looked as if no one would be able to run down that laser of a throw, but then again Deichman is fast. He caught up to the disc with ease for the score.
With the count at 11-6, Wesleyan was able to put two more points together due to some less than perfect endzone defense to bring the score to 11-8. WUFO countered with two points of its own thanks to perfect cuts in the endzone by Miekeljohn. Wesleyan really began exploiting WUFO’s point defense late in the game. This allowed them to break the force and run the disc up the field. WUFO decided to crack down after wasting games points at 14-9 and 14-10. Josh Fincke ’99, in his first day of ultimate all year due to injuries, found Baldivieso in the endzone with a short hammer to close out Wesleyan by the score of 15-11. With the victory, WUFO secured the Little Three Championship.
WUFO will be playing on campus again the weekend of October 24 when it hosts its annual tournament, Purple Valley. Williams will host some of the best college and club teams from around the Northeast for a great weekend of ultimate.