WUFO charges through Yale

The Williams Ultimate Frisbee Organization (WUFO) men’s A-team continued its incredible start this season by winning the Yale Coffee Cup tournament this past weekend.

WUFO went 5-0 on the day, jumping to a 7-0 record against collegiate competition. It was a huge victory for Williams; this was the first northeastern tournament victory for any of the team’s players. In addition, the team garnered the coveted Yale Cup trophy: a pair of pink panties bearing the tournament’s name.

“After last year’s rebuilding season, this year’s edition of WUFO is fortunate to have a large core of skilled, experienced seniors who have been playing together for four years and are truly coming into their own to play at a very high level,” co-captain Chris “CKD” Durlacher ’03 said.

“The captains and other seniors provide amazing leadership for the team,” Phil “EnoFlow” Enoch ’05 said. “They get us fired up to play and set the example by working incredibly hard.”

WUFO hasn’t made the national frisbee championship tournament in over five years, but is playing with the panache to make a bid for an entry in the spring.

The team sports a strong core of CJ Bak ’05, Ben Rah ’05, Dave Thome ’05, Phil Enock ’05 and Jarret Nelson ’05, as well as continued contributions from Nate Kolar ’05, last year’s A-team freshman phenom.

WUFO started the day by dispatching a rival Wesleyan team 11-7. Williams drew first blood on a deep throw from co-captain Ian Warrington ’03 to Nick Nelson ’03, a connection seen repeatedly throughout the day.

Warrington’s blazing speed, high-flying play, remarkable catches and solid hucks (deep throws) make him one of the team’s top players and a contender for the Callahan award (given to the top player in the Northeast region).

Nelson, whose imposing 6’4″ muscular frame is matched only by his intimidating, voluminous orange hair, was a deadly deep threat and defensive force throughout the day. The team’s ferocious defense was led by Robert Gonzalez ’03, who had two defensive blocks against Wesleyan and played stellar defense throughout the day. WUFO finished Wesleyan off with a sweet throw from Bak to Joe Buccina ’04.

Next, WUFO faced Columbia. A close game throughout the beginning, Williams opened up the lead with a hammer throw from Warrington to Krishna “Lars Johnson” Kannan ’03 to make it 7-5. Kannan, long known for his wheels, has added a backhand huck to his arsenal and taken his game to another level this season.

For the next point, Dave Thal ’03 fired the team up with a lay-out grab to snag a disc just inches off the ground for the score. Williams proved indomitable for the remainder of the game and Kannan finished off Columbia with a throw to Buccina for the 13-6 victory.

In the quarterfinals, Williams faced host team Yale. WUFO took a quick 3-0 lead on a put from Nelson to “The Reverend” Andrew “Droobie” McKinstry ’03. The teams then traded points, as Rah threw to Kannan to make it 4-1.

Yale mounted an impressive comeback, and soon WUFO was facing a 5-5 tie-game. Unphased, Williams took the lead with a Bak throw to Enock and kept it for the rest of the game to complete an 11-9 victory.

WUFO advanced to face MIT in the semifinals. The team was anxious to avenge the two losses they suffered at the hands of MIT last year. In a tight game tied at 6-6, Williams dropped two points, falling behind to 8-6. Nick Borja ’04 led the comeback with a nice put to Kannan to make it 8-7. Kannan then connected with Warrington to tie the game. WUFO closed out the game with a Nelson throw to a diving Gonzalez and advanced to the finals against Tufts.

Tufts is a perennial Northeast powerhouse; its squad was the top-ranked team in their region and seeded sixth in the national tournament last year. Durlacher, who pairs his formidable athleticism with some of the team’s best throws, launched the first of four throws for scores to Pablo de los Santos ’03 to tie the score at 4-4.

Intense defense by Rob Gonzalez ’03 forced a Tufts turnover. Gonzalez immediately picked up the frisbee and launched a beautiful huck to a wide-open de los Santos for a 7-6 lead. Tufts battled back to tie the game 8-8, but it would be the last points they’d score all game.

With Durlacher at the helm, WUFO took over. He threw three of the last five scores and ended the game with a put to Thal for the 13-8 victory. The whole team played its heart out. In particular, Durlacher played so hard that his exhaustion induced vomiting after the game. Fortunately, Durlacher recovered quickly to accept the pink panties trophy for the team.

The victory is made even more impressive by the fact that WUFO was missing five of its key players in the finals: WUFO President Jeremy Redburn ’03, Jamon Frostenson ’03, Hal Kronsberg ’03, Eric Schoenfeld ’03 and Kolar.

The team can be seen in home-field action when Williams hosts the Purple Valley tournament on Oct. 19-20.