Women’s frisbee qualifies for nationals

by Haley Gordon | 5/3/15 6:01pm

This past weekend, both the men’s and women’s club ultimate frisbee teams competed in the New England college Division I regional tournament at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The men’s team, known as “Pain Train,” made it to the quarterfinals before losing a close match to Brown University 15-11 and ending the tournament tied with Boston College for seventh of the 16 teams.

“Princess Layout,” the women’s team, fared slightly better than the men and finished the day with the first-place spot among the 13 teams, topping Middlebury College 15-5 in the finals.

Princess Layout’s win will send the women’s team to the Division I college championships for the first time since 2009, Sophia Siu ’18 said.

The men’s team competes in the D-I league, and the women’s team competes in D-III. The top two teams at the D-III sectionals competition, however, advance to D-I regionals, which allowed both of Dartmouth’s club teams to show in the D-I competition at Amherst.

The competition began Saturday, and the first day consisted primarily of pool play. In order to determine the bracket for the second day of competition, the first five games for Princess Layout and the first three for Pain Train were all within pool play. Each game in pool play was capped at 13 points, although the upper limit was increased to 15 points in bracket play.

The first day of competition ended with Princess Layout beating the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Rhode Island, Boston College, Northeastern Univeristy and the University of New Hampshire to go 5-0 in pool play. Pain Train walked away with wins against Tufts University, Northeastern and Rhode Island and a single loss against Harvard University.

While most of the women’s games were blowouts, their contest against Northeastern was a close affair, ending with Princess Layout winning 13-9. The athleticism of the Northeastern players kept the game close, Piper Curtis ’17 said.

“I think part of it was that they are a very physically athletic team, which is sometimes unusual to see because we’re pretty athletic too,” Curtis said. “It was a good matchup. They’re also very skilled with their throws and their movement, so it was kind of hard to keep up.”

Entering the second day of play, Princess Layout retained its first-seed ranking. The team faced Middlebury, the first-place team of the second pool, and dominated game play, coming away with a 15-5 victory and a guaranteed spot at nationals.

“I think the one-seed was enough to make us know that we deserved to be there,” Madeline Parish ’16 said. “But because it was atypical to years past, it kept us competitive enough to be able to take us through and win.”

Middlebury featured a strong, gritty roster, Julianna Werffeli ’18 said. Princess Layout was able to counteract Middlebury’s skills, however, thanks to a zone defense and an adaptive strategy spearheaded by coach Eugene Yum, Werffeli said.

“It’s really nice to win,” Sophia Schwartz ’13 said. “It’s really nice to get it done when we needed to get it done, and not have to go to the next game between the two and three spots to try to win. It was really nice to stay executive and do it when we needed to do it to take the tournament.”

The men’s squad played against Brown in the quarterfinals, but fell 15-11. The men could potentially have played again to vie for fifth place, but its opponent, Boston College, left the tournament and forfeited the game.

Schwartz attributed the success of the women to the strength of the individual players’ skill sets.

“This is the strongest team we’ve had yet,” Schwartz said. “I think from the whole team perspective we’re the strongest [we’ve been]. We came in as the number one seed which we’ve never done before…so we had a little bit of an easier schedule through out the tournament.”

On the women’s team this year there are four players who have played ultimate in junior worlds competitions: Angela Zhu ’17, Eva Petzinger ’15, Curtis and Werffeli.

Princess Layout will be one of 20 women’s teams competing in the 2015 USA Ultimate College Championships. The event will take place in Milwaukee May 22 to May 25.