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sMITe Advances to Semis; Take Third At Stanford Invitational

By Lori Eich

TEAM MEMBER

Last weekend, the women’s ultimate Frisbee team (sMITe) took third place at the Stanford Invitational tournament. The team swept pool play and defeated UC Santa Cruz in the quarterfinals but was defeated by UC San Diego, the national champions of 2002, in the semifinals.

sMITe, having practiced outdoors only twice prior to the tournament, started the weekend a little rusty but still edged out a win over UC Davis. Pool play began with UC Davis quickly scoring the first point of the game. sMITe answered with a stellar 50-yard huck from Nancy Y. Sun ’04 to Kathy L. Dobson G in the end zone. Kathleen M. Rubritz ’04 and Lori A. Eich G, combined for five blocks and showed amazing vertical defensive play. The teams traded points throughout the match, but sMITe ended up on top with a final score of 12-11.

Game Two of pool play matched sMITe against UCLA. The highlight of the game was sMITe’s new junk defense, which shook up the UCLA offense enough for a multitude of turnovers. Angela Tong ’05 had a spectacular game with a layout block and three goals caught. Rubritz caught a layout goal, and Genevieve G. Ricart ’06 threw two more, helping sMITe win the game 11-8.

sMITe was pitted against UBC for the final round of pool play. Playing great defense, Holly E. Owens ’07 shut down every cut made by her opposing players, and Olivia R. Cheo ’04 had two blocks. Outstanding offensive continuation play was shown by April Rasala G and Alison M. Cohen G, who connected for a total of five goals. The game ended with a 12-9 victory for sMITe, putting the team into the quarterfinals of the elimination bracket.

Amidst the cool fog of a California Sunday morning, sMITe faced UC Santa Cruz in the quarterfinal round. When UC Santa Cruz came out with a zone defense, Shuang You ’05 and Julia V. M. Cline G stood out with their patience and consistently solid throws as handlers. sMITe took the game 14-9, aided by a remarkable show of defense from Yelena Gorlin ’06 and Dobson, who combined for eight blocks.

The semifinal round against UC San Diego proved to be sMITe’s toughest match. The match started with UC San Diego scoring the first two goals. In the next point, Taylor F. Schildgen G had a ridiculous grab over one of UC San Diego’s top players. She then threw to Sun, who connected with Meryl R. del Rosario ’05 in the end zone. The teams traded points until UC San Diego took the first half with a score of 8-6. sMITe came out strong in the second half with two blocks by Darlene E. Ferranti ’06 and three more by Cohen, helping the team pull ahead to an 11-10 score. However, UC San Diego came back strong and won the game 14-11. UC San Diego went on to lose to Stanford (the 2003 national champions) 13-15 in the finals.

Dusting off their cleats and stepping onto the playing field as a force to be reckoned with, sMITe took third place overall, despite competing against teams who have the ability to practice outdoors year-round.