Frisbee squad winds upset victories
By Ali Azarbayejani
The frisbee club started this year's competitive season with a surprising finish at the State University of New York at Albany Tournament April 1-2. The 12-team tournament, sponsored by the Ultimate Players' Association, began with MIT seeded last out of the 11 college squads. The determined MIT squad began right away to demonstrate the inaccuracy of their basement rating by defeating number one seed Columbia University 12-10 in their first game.
The key to the victory over last year's semifinalist in the UPA National Championship Tournament was MIT's formidable zone defense. The pressure, aided by a strong wind, stifled the offensive flow of Columbia and forced key turnovers. MIT continued to apply the zone throughout the cold and windy afternoon, defeating Williams College, 13-5, downing uncharacteristically weak Wesleyan University, 15-6, and ending the day with an easy 10-6 victory over the lone club team, Loco.
A groggy MIT squad lost to crosstown rival Tufts University, 11-15, on Sunday morning, ending pool play with a 4-1 record and in second place in the pool. This earned MIT a spot in the eight-team elimination round for tournament champion. MIT emerged from the quarterfinals a 15-8 winner over University of Vermont as Columbia, Tufts, and SUNY-Purchase also advanced.
MIT went on to crush SUNY-Purchase, 15-3, and found themselves slated against Columbia, which was poised for revenge of MIT's earlier victory.
Columbia's deep bench proved to be a dominant factor in this eighth game of the weekend tourney, as they persevered against MIT's tiring zone defense to take the Albany Championship 13-8. MIT's second-place finish earned them renewed respect among teams in the UPA Northeast Region and signaled new hope that MIT might pull together a legitimate bid for winning a spot in this year's National Tournament.
Last weekend, MIT attended the Yale Cup Tournament in New Haven, and did not fare as well. In rain and mud, they defeated an inexperienced Trinity College team, 13-5, and had a 12-8 advantage over powerful Cornell University before yielding to sloppy play and suffering a heartbreaking 14-16 loss.
Short-handed Boston University handed MIT their second victory of the day, 11-6, giving MIT a 2-1 record and second place in the pool.
MIT lost in the first round of the 16-team single elimination playoff to number one seed Hampshire College 10-15 and returned home Saturday. Next weekend, the MIT squad travels to New York to compete for the Purchase Cup.
(Ali Azarbayejani G is a member of the frisbee club.)