Upset Wins Give Women’s Ultimate 3rd at NationalsBy Kathy Dobson
The MIT Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team (sMITe) went 4-1 over Memorial Day weekend to take third at College Nationals. MIT upset two teams, losing only to the eventual national champions.
The MIT women entered the tournament seeded sixth out of 16 teams. In their first match-up of the tournament, sMITe faced 15th seeded University of Texas. MIT came out strong early on, allowing Texas only one point per half. Led by Nancy Y. Sun ’04, with four assists and one goal, Cordelia E. Crockett G, with two assists, one goal, and four blocks, and Christine B. Dobson ’03, with three assists, one goal, and three blocks, sMITe took the game 15-2. Contributing on defense was Michelle H. Wu G, with a sky block early in the second half, and for offense, Angela Tong ’05 had one assist and two goals.
In the second game of the tournament, sMITe took on 10th seeded University of Virginia. MIT again came out to an early lead, scoring four goals before Virginia could answer. SMITe took the game 15-4 with solid play from Lori A. Eich ’03, with two goals and one block, and Dobson, with five assists and one block. Crockett contributed with two assists, two goals, and one block while Tong and Mina K. Hsiang ’03 combined for four assists and three goals.
MIT upsets Stanford
In the final game of pool play, sMITe faced third-seeded Stanford, a national finalist for seven out of the past eight years. Although sMITe had only 13 players, compared with Stanford’s 21, they were not intimidated by Stanford’s size or strength.
MIT started the game by pulling to Stanford. April P. Rasala G stepped up early with a pair of blocks both resulting in goals for sMITe. Stanford, however, would not give up and they brought the score to 5-4. Heather A. Lukacs G responded with two goals of her own and sMITe took half 8-5.
After half, sMITe kept up its intensity with back-to-back goals by Kathleen L. Dobson ’03, both assisted by Christine Dobson. Stanford answered with a goal of their own, but Rasala once again responded with a block then two goals, assisted by Hsiang and Sun. At 12-7, Stanford made one last attempt to come back, scoring two in a row. However, sMITe quickly finished Stanford off with a Crockett-Eich combination and two Dobson-Dobson combinations ending the game at 15-9. With this upset, sMITe finished first in their pool which resulted in a pre-quarter bye and guaranteed a finish in the top eight.
Oregon falls in quarterfinals
On Saturday, sMITe faced Oregon in the quarterfinals. MIT came out slowly and allowed Oregon to score the first two points. MIT placed themselves on the scoreboard with a Sun-Crockett combination but Oregon’s depth and excitement overwhelmed the engineers and MIT found themselves down 6-2 early in the first half. At this point, Kathleen M. Rubritz ’04 picked up the defense and had a lay-out block which resulted in a goal. Also aided by strong defense from Eulalia S. Massague ’04, sMITe did not look back as they scored the next five points in a row and took half 8-7.
MIT did not relax after half and, with blocks by Wu, Crockett, and Rasala, pulled away for a 10-7 lead. At 11-8, Meryl R. del Rosario ’05 had a lay-out block for the Engineers. Oregon would get within two, at 11-9, but sMITe answered with three goals by Sun, including one lay-out goal, with assists by Lukacs, Rasala and Kathleen Dobson. MIT won the game with a score of 15-10 resulting in their first ever trip to the national semi-finals.
UCSD ends sMITe’s run
In sMITe’s second game on Saturday, they faced second-seeded University of California San Diego. MIT started strong, trading points with UCSD until the score was 6-6. At that point, UCSD’s strength and size began to show as they capitalized on sMITe’s turnovers. UCSD took half up 8-6 and, despite strong play from Hsiang with five assists and one block, MIT was only able to score three more points in the second half for a final score of 15-9, ending their 26-game winning streak. Eich ended up with an almost perfect tournament, with only one turnover for the five games played.
UCSD ended up winning the National Title, beating Stanford 15-7 in the finals.
With only 13 players attending Nationals, sMITe managed to finish third in the nation, defeating the second place team and only losing to the eventual national champion.