Ultimate Frisbee | Men’s, women’s ultimate wrap up for the fall
Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 8, 2012 08:11
Usually, college ultimate is played in the spring and early summer, as teams break out of their winter shells and showcase their talents on huge grass fields. However, for the Tufts E-Men and E-Wo, the fall season is just as important, as both squads look to recruit new members and improve their play as units.
“The fall is when we teach people,” women’s co-captain Hailey Alm, a senior, said. “We have some tournaments to get people hooked on frisbee and help everyone improve.”
In addition to getting out onto Fletcher Field, the teams’ primary fall practice area, a significant goal of the fall season is to develop camaraderie among the team members that will hopefully last into the spring and beyond, especially for first-years.
“Our aims are primarily adding new members and teaching those new guys the game of ultimate. But we also make it a goal to maintain the strong community that is the Tufts E-Men,” men’s co-captain Robert Perkins-High, a senior, said. “As our fall season wraps up, we’ve already added a very spunky group of freshmen who have a genuine interest in the game and add a lot to the team.”
The fall season is not just about practicing, though. The E-Men have been participating in tournaments all over New England, including the annual Huck a Hunk of Burning Pumpkins tournament at Brown, where the team lost to Harvard 16-14 in the semifinals.
Still, the fall season is more of a preparation for the spring, and working hard over the winter is critical to coming out strong in the real college ultimate season.
“The winter season is where good teams are made,” Perkins-High said. “We are stuck inside for several months, which can be a good and bad thing.”
According to senior Margot Lieblich, one of the biggest struggles with playing inside stems from the inability to accurately simulate the conditions that will be present in the spring.
“The off-season in New England does put us at a huge disadvantage, because while other teams across the country are playing outdoors, on a full field, as soon as winter comes we are trapped inside the gym,” she said. “The gym is especially limiting for a sport like frisbee, because you cannot practice throwing in different kinds of wind, a huge factor in playing outdoors.”
The opportunity for conditioning, however, is invaluable, even if it is caused by the lack of ability to get out on the real field.
“While it’s unfortunate not to be able to play outside, it allows us to focus on conditioning and weight lifting, which many teams overlook,” Perkins-High said, “We [also] have the luxury of having [senior] Nick Adolph on our squad, who is currently training to be a personal trainer, which gives us a great resource.”
All the hard work in the fall and winter will help the teams try to improve their finishes in the spring. However, that will be a tall order, as the men’s and women’s teams finished tied for fifth and third, respectively, at Nationals last year.
“We were seeded 16th out of 20 college women’s teams, and we tied for third place. It was one of the biggest upsets in College Nationals history,” Lieblich said. “Our success put Tufts’ name on the board, and we aren’t expecting that element of surprise anymore. Anything we take this year we are going to have to earn.”
“Both the E-Men and the B-Men are looking to build off of great 2012 campaigns,” Perkins-High added, referring to the squad’s B team that traditionally competes among the region’s A teams. “Last season marked the highest finishes in program history for both teams.”