Men’s Ultimate Makes RegionalsBy Edmund Chou
The MIT Ultimate team competed in the Metro Boston sectional tournament last weekend, in an attempt to secure one of five spots in the upcoming New England regional tournament. Despite several injuries plaguing the team this weekend, MIT made a strong showing at the sectional tournament, losing to Tufts University but qualifying for regionals.
MIT would be forced to play without several key players, including starting handler Peter M. Mayer G who had dislocated his elbow in a layout defensive bid two weeks ago in the Yale Cup finals. Other missing players were starting handler Benjie Chen G with a knee injury, deep threat Thouis Jones G, 2001 MVP Dean Bolton G, and team co-captain Edmund M. Chou ’02.
MIT advances to playoffs
Saturday would be a day of pool play against Northeastern, Harvard, Boston College, and Tufts-B. MIT started the day strong against Northeastern by fielding a defensive team handily, getting blocks and maintaining possession throughout the first half to take a decisive lead at 8-2. Northeastern had nothing left as MIT took the game at 15-3 with solid play by Ronald C. Li ’03.
MIT next faced last year’s Nationals qualifier Harvard in a close game, trading points in the first half. Despite great defensive point blocks by team stud Matthew B. Greytak ’04 and strong pulls by Hyman A. Carrell G, MIT would come up short at the half with a score of 6-8. Jacob Faber ’04 made a great layout to save an out-of-bounds hammer throw but MIT remained scoreless in the second half. Harvard closed out the game with a time cap at 6-12.
In Saturday’s third game, MIT would face a skillful BC team. The offensive team quickly scored points with forehand hucks from handler David S. Bailey ’02 to Thomas J. Liptay G. Also in this game, strong defensive play by the MIT freshmen superstars would shut down the BC offense. Edward F. Hsieh ’05 had several defensive blocks, while David K. Hoel ’05 pulled down the BC hucks, preventing them from playing their deep game. MIT claimed the first half at 8-4 and a layout block by Daniel B. Turek ’03 allowed MIT to continue to victory with a final score of 15-10.
The final game of the day was against Tufts-B. Although Tufts-B came out strong by scoring the first two points, Colin A. Cross ’03 led the team to eight consecutive points to claim the half at 8-2. In the second half, David P. Messing G had a crucial defensive block by slapping the disc straight into the ground. He set up his isolation offensive play to close out the game 15-3.
MIT qualifies for regionals
In the quarterfinal match, MIT would face Brandeis for a spot to advance to regionals. Despite starting the day in cold and rainy weather, MIT played with intensity and showed no mercy to the Brandeis team. Several defensive layouts by MIT made the Brandeis team nervous, including MIT’s Gary C. Lee ’02 laying out to prevent Brandeis from scoring downwind. MIT forced the disc upwind with help from Mathias J. Craig G throwing several upwind goals. The final score was a decisive 15-5 victory for MIT.
In the final match of the day, MIT was eliminated by previous Nationals qualifier Tufts. Despite the 15-7 loss in the semifinals, MIT had a few moments of glory. Team co-captain Jay F. Bacow ’02 had an amazing layout defensive grab over a Tufts player in their endzone for an immediate goal.
The MIT team was fired up to score a few more points, but it would not be enough to take down Tufts. Tufts continued to the finals, only to be defeated by Harvard. The final rankings entering the regional tournament next week will be Harvard, Tufts, MIT, BU, and Brandeis.