The Williams Ultimate Frisbee Organization placed second a the New England Fall College Challenge (NEFCC) Frisbee tournament last weekend, after beating national champions Brown in the semifinals but losing a close finals to Tufts.
The tournament, played on former Army drill grounds at old Fort Devens, was meant to be the fall-season equivalent to the Spring Regional tournament, which determines which two or three teams travel to Nationals. The Boston Ultimate Disc Association (BUDA) sponsored and organized the tournament, which featured about 30 men’s and 20 women’s teams from all over New England. The tourney began on Saturday with preliminary competition, and continued Sunday with elimination matches, which were determined by Saturday’s results.
WUFO’s expectations for the year are high, as only one of the team’s seven starting players graduated in ’00. However, WUFO was seeded in the middle of the field of 16 teams. The team was missing three of its starters for the weekend, and had a total roster of ten people on the second day.
On the first day, WUFO drew games against Vermont University, the University of Massachusetts, Bowdoin College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. WUFO beat handily all but UMass, which continued to show that it is one of the best teams in the region by beating WUFO 13-9, in a game that was closer than the score would indicate.
The second day of the tournament afforded some of the best and most exciting Ultimate any of the members of WUFO have ever seen.
In the first game on Sunday, WUFO was matched with the once-dominant Yale Superfly, which is a team in a period of transition. WUFO quickly went out to an easy 7-1 lead on a defensive interception score by Hal Kronsberg ’03. After a brief reminder of its mortality, WUFO scored five of the last six points the game to win 13-7.
WUFO’s next opponent was the Wesleyan Nietzsche Factor, a perennial contender. WUFO’s game really came into focus during this game. The unshakable WUFO defense began to show its true colors during this game, which would allow only four points over the entire game. WUFO cruised through this game, with a final score of 15-4, to advance to the semifinals.
National champion Brown University was the next opponent for WUFO. Brown came into the tournament with confidence and poise. The game started in a manner that most would have expected. WUFO played well, but Brown played a level above, and went out to a 7-4 lead.
Then WUFO scored ten straight points.
The man-to-man defense that WUFO ran during this stretch was completely impenetrable to the Brown offense, and WUFO’s offense was equally error-free. Quite simply, Brown turned over the disc each point, and WUFO scored each time they did so. The final score was 15-9. WUFO had shocked the national champions.
To WUFO, a team that has not beaten Brown in the last five years, and lost to them 15-0 in Wilmington, N.C. last spring, this was an enormous psychological and emotional victory.
In the finals, WUFO played its archrival Tufts in a game that was shortened for lack of sunlight. The teams traded points for most of the game, which was good-spirited and fast paced, considering the mutual fatigue that plagued both teams.
WUFO’s defense was again extremely solid, and afforded the offense plenty of chances to take control of the game. It looked as if this might take place as WUFO took a 10-9 lead in the game to 13 on a quick end zone strike from Pat Foyle ’01 to Jeremy Redburn ’03; however, Tufts scored the next two points, and the teams resumed trading points. Tufts won the game with a final score of 13-12 on an upside-down hammer throw to the back corner of the end zone.
WUFO Men Place Second at Purple Valley
WUFO placed second in and hosted the 21st annual Purple Valley Frisbee Tournament this weekend on the Poker Flats and Lower Cole Field. Perennially one of the best tournaments of the year, Purple Valley draws the best college and club Ultimate teams from all over the Northeast.
WUFO fielded three teams for the two-day affair. WUFO’s A, B and C sides were joined in the brackets by two teams of WUFO alums, one composed of recent alums, the other of men with more creaky dispositions. The A-team and both alum teams played extremely well, and provided quite a show for Williams faithful.
WUFO had a mission to accomplish at Purple Valley: to avenge the loss to Tufts in the finals of the NEFCC a week prior, and to show that it is one of the elite teams in the Northeast and will contend seriously for a trip to Nationals in the Spring. WUFO got its chance; Tufts was in WUFO’s bracket, and the two teams were slated to play in the second game on Saturday.
Competition started on Saturday when WUFO played Dartmouth. WUFO continued its yearly dominance of Dartmouth Ultimate with an easy, warm-up type game, and a 15-7 win. WUFO worked out its kinks and warmed up its legs for the game that would afford it a chance to tackle Tufts.
WUFO was fired up and prepared to play flawless offense and impeccable defense against Tufts. That is exactly what it did. WUFO went out to an extremely fast 6-0 lead, thanks to the addition of Alan Baldivieso ’01, whose dominating defense was missed sorely a week earlier. Halftime was taken with the score 8-3, and WUFO’s prospects were bright.
Tufts came out of the half and played well, closing the score to 10-8; however, WUFO scored the next two points and won the game with the same four-point margin, 15-11.
The win against Tufts was incredibly significant. WUFO now had only to beat UMass in order to complete its goal of beating every top contender for Nationals. The chance to do so would come on Sunday.
WUFO’s last game of Saturday was against the lowly Amherst Ultimate team, which had upset WUFO at Purple Valley a year prior, after WUFO beat a higher-ranked Tufts team â€“ just as had happened this year. Determined not to allow a repeat, WUFO took no chances with the Lord Jeffs, and took it took the advantage to destroy them early and often.
After jumping out to a 5-0 lead, the relatively laid-back game unraveled for Amherst, and through superior skill and strategy, WUFO went on to a 15-5 win over Amherst.
WUFO went 3-0 on Saturday, and so earned a first-round bye on Sunday. Its first game was against the younger alums, who beat Harvard in the first round of elimination. WUFO and its alums have more fun than anything else when they play each other, and Sunday was no exception. The teams played close until halftime, with WUFO leading at 7-5.
After halftime, WUFO scored all but one of the points for the rest of the game, and finished the game with a score of 13-6, in an extremely fun and well-spirited jaunt with our alums.
The semifinal match-up against a top-rated UMass team gave WUFO the chance to show that it belongs at Nationals. WUFO would not disappoint.
WUFO again started fast with a 3-0 lead, and continued its great defense and chilly zone offense to open up to an 8-4 lead. UMASS would resurge, and knot the score at 10-10 in the game to 13. The teams traded points for the rest of the game, and WUFO advanced to the finals against the older WUFO alums by a 13-12 score on a beautiful and exciting high-release backhand throw from Yang Wang ’01 to Baldivieso.
The all-Williams tournament championship game matched speed and stamina against age, experience, and superior throws. WUFO went down 6-3 early, but clawed back to force the score to 8-6, in favor of the alums. After that, the teams traded points, and the teacher was victorious over the pupil, by a score of 11-9.
Though WUFO did not win either of its last two tournaments, it not only showed unequivocally with wins over national champion Brown, Wesleyan, Tufts and UMass, that it deserves to represent the Northeast at Nationals in the spring, but also that its dad can beat up your dad.