The MIT women’s ultimate frisbee team “sMITe” came in seventh out of 16 teams at the Yale Cup tournament last weekend in New Haven. The tournament brought together top teams from the Northeast that MIT will be playing throughout the spring season in the competition to go to Nationals.
Seeded ninth for this the second tournament of the spring season, MIT made it into the championship bracket (top 8) on Saturday, defeating Williams College (10-7) and Brown University (11-3) after a tough first game against Cornell University (11-2). The team then won the first elimination game against University of Vermont.
On Sunday, the team lost two hard-fought games to Tufts University (13-7) and Wesleyan University (11-7), before outscoring Boston University for a seventh place finish. Tufts, seeded third, finished second after losing to top seed Dartmouth College in the finals.
Fourth-year Daphne L. Wang ’08 led off the last game of the tournament with three layouts on the first point, shutting down BU’s best player. MIT won the final game 9-5 under time cap.
It was “great for our second tournament this spring,” said co-captain Catherine W. Seaborn G. “Everyone stepped it up for the tough games Saturday afternoon in the wind.”
The team brought out its box-and-one defense with co-captain Erika M. Swanson G against key players on opposing teams. MIT’s defense was strong throughout the tournament, with Swanson, Jennifer L. Barry G and Doris Lin G forcing multiple turnovers in the end zone.
“Our rookies did a stellar job,” said co-coach Jin Ding. “Chenxia Liu ’09 made some great catches and Ds [defensive blocks]; Natasha P. Plotkin ’11 is developing into a strong zone cup player; and Anne P. Runkle ’11 had intense defense and caught everything thrown at her.”
During this tournament “we showed that we could play with any team in the region,” said Ding. “The challenge will be coming out strong from the beginning of every game and being able to turn up the intensity in close games.”
Seaborn added that the team will be concentrating on “finessing the fundamentals in outdoor conditions over the next couple of weeks until Sectionals.”
If sMITe does well at Metro Boston Sectionals next weekend against many of the same teams, the team will go to New England Regionals in Lancaster, MA at the beginning of May.