The MIT women’s ultimate frisbee team, “sMITe,” came in third out of twelve teams at the Metro Boston Women’s Sectionals last weekend in Lancaster, Mass. The team qualified for the New England Regional competition on May 3.
sMITe went 4-1 in its pool, defeating Bentley College (13-2), Brandeis University (13-8), Boston College-B (13-1), and suffering a loss to Tufts University (13-7) on Saturday; the team came back to beat Harvard University (13-8) on Sunday.
Bracket play began on Sunday with sMITe pitted against Wellesley College. MIT’s focus on efficient offense and hard man-to-man defense kept Wellesley’s offense in check. After a tight game, MIT came on out top 13-10.
MIT kept its intensity up in its next game versus Boston University, continuing to focus on hard cutting offense and man defense. sMITe won decisively, 13-7.
The win led MIT to a rematch against Tufts, this time for second place in the tournament. Tufts had earlier lost in the championship match to tournament winner Northeastern University. Though MIT and Tufts traded points through most of the first half, Tufts managed to pull away with a 15-8 win in the second, leaving MIT with a third place finish in the tournament.
“I was really happy with how we played consistently well through eight hard-fought games and were still running hard even at the end,” said co-captain Catherine W. Seaborn G.
Handlers kept the disc moving throughout the tournament, tiring out the cups of opposing teams’ zone defenses and staying alert for long throws. “Co-captains Erika [M. Swanson G] and Catherine [Seaborn] made some really amazing hucks to Meri [N. Silberstein G] and Doris [Lin G],” said co-captain Karen K. Shu G. Some of the catches that Lin made included dramatic layouts in the end zone.
“Our zone offense looked really, really good,” said Swanson. “Daphne [L. Wang ‘08] was very good at hitting throws in zone and getting open on up-the-line cuts. … Amy [M. LeMessurier ’10] really stepped up her game this whole tournament.”
Cutters, including Jenn D. French ’11 and Kelly C. Casteel ’11, created strong offensive flow, faking coming under aggressively and clearing hard. “Veena Venkatachalam’s [’09] one-handed grabs were impressive,” said Seaborn. “Chenxia [Liu ’10] was cutting aggressively as usual … and Rosa [Cao G] was making some really great cuts and grabs as well.”
Anne P. Runkle ’11, in addition to making strong cuts, used smart positioning as a dump defender to force several key turnovers in tight games.
“I’m really excited for Regionals,” said Shu. “Right now, it’s anyone’s game. It’s just going to come down to who wants it more and who has the deeper team.”
A good performance at Regionals could earn MIT a bid to the Ultimate Players Association College Women’s Championship in Boulder, CO on May 16-18.