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Women's Frisbee Wins Purple Valley Tournament: Ultimate Team Finds Success with Zone, Man-to-Man Defensive Strategies at Williams College

By Lori Eich


Last weekend the women’s ultimate frisbee team won the Purple Valley Tournament at Williams College. Despite high winds and cold hands, MIT beat Tufts 13-10 in the final game.

MIT swept the pool play on Saturday, Oct. 21. They started the day by shutting out Wellesley 13-0 and proceeded to beat Williams 13-3. After winning their bracket, MIT was seeded 2nd behind Tufts for single elimination play on Sunday, Oct. 22.

The team’s first game on Sunday was quick and painless. MIT pulled a 1-3-3 defense against Brown. After tiring out Brown’s offense and forcing a turnover, MIT’s Nancy Sun ’04 picked up the disc and hucked it into the end zone to April Rasala G. Later in the game, Chun Hua Zheng ’01 showed her man-to-man defensive skills by intercepting three passes. At MIT’s game point, Brown made another turnover, which was picked up by captain Pei-Lin Hsiung G for an easy pass to Dana Scott ’01 in the end zone. MIT beat Brown 13-1.

In the semifinals against Cornell, MIT won 13-1 with a hard-fought second half. The versatile skills of Christine Dobson ’03 stood out during this game. Dobson proved herself an excellent receiver as well as a solid handler by advancing the disc up the field and making smart cuts in the end zone. Lori Eich ’03 also contributed several points to the game with her signature end zone rolling catch.

After a 2-point loss to Tufts in a previous tournament, MIT was ready to take them down in the finals at Purple Valley. The biting October winds were growing stronger, giving an advantage to the team with the offensive downwind. Crystal Hsu ’01 exploited this and started the game with a hammer into the end zone to alumna Kari Andersson. Then, after Tufts scored a downwind point, MIT came back to score three in a row. This 4-1 advantage set the stage for the rest of Tufts’ defeat.

Further into the game, MIT led 11-8. Alicia Volpacelli ’98 combined with Stacy McGeever ’93 and Kathy Dobson ’03 for a give-and-go play to bring the score to 12-8. Tufts rebounded with two more points, but MIT pulled through. At game point, Sun passed to Hsiung who swung the disc across the field to Hsu. Volpacelli received the next pass and continued to advance the disc to Kathy Dobson, who looked to the end zone and passed to Christine Dobson laying out for the 13-10 win.

The MIT women’s ultimate frisbee team is always looking for new players from all levels of experience. For practice times and game schedules, e-mail