Gold for ultimate team

Ultimate frisbee team wins third straight Eastern Canadian title, looks to repeat as national champs

Ultimate earned their third straight Canadian Eastern University Ultimate Championship.
Ultimate earned their third straight Canadian Eastern University Ultimate Championship.
Photo courtesy of Michael Brown
Members of ultimate frisbee show off their golden discs.
Members of ultimate frisbee show off their golden discs.
Photo courtesy of Michael Jones

Last weekend the men’s ultimate frisbee team swept the Canadian Eastern University Ultimate Championships in Toronto, winning their third consecutive title.

The men’s team dominated the Canadian University Series last season, winning the National Championships. Their repeat as Eastern Canadian champions gives them a good shot at another national title.

Queen’s “mothership”—as the teamcalls themselves—tossed aside Toronto, McGill, and Western during round robin play on Saturday, winning each match by a considerable margin.

They took their momentum into the playoff round on Sunday, beating Sherbrooke 15-3 in the quarter-finals and McMaster 14-7 in the semifinals.

In the finals the men’s team outmatched their opponents from Guelph, taking the game and championship with a 14-6 decision. The game was officially called after Guelph conceded to Queen’s, who had been dominating throughout the match.

Team co-captain Ryan Lee said he was happy with the team’s performance, and attributed the team’s success to their camaraderie and commitment.

“We have a strong work ethic—we are on the field practicing three times a week, and we train hard,” he said. “We have a very tight-knit team.”

Lee said he was particularly impressed by the team’s ability to rise to the occasion and defend the precedent they set last season.

“It was either pass or fail,” he said. “We could either continue the trend or drop to the bottom.”

The men’s ultimate team has proven it is willing to rise to the occasion again and again. Last season the men went undefeated in the Canadian Series with a 15-0 record. This season, they have increased that winning streak to 22 consecutive games, having easily won all seven games they’ve played. Since the beginning of their national championship campaign last season, they have not allowed more than eight points to be scored against them in any one game.

Team veteran Jamie Miller said the team’s success this season is particularly impressive because it is so different from the one that won nationals last season.

“We lost a lot of great players,” he said. “This was a great eye-opener to see what we can do.”

Miller praised the outstanding play of the team’s first-year contributors.

“The rookies stepped up and filled the void,” he said. “It’s great to see that we could come together and play—it’s a pretty new team.”

The arm-wrenching catches of Adam Shaw and the constant communication of Patrick Mooney were crucial to the Queen’s victory, Miller said.

Even at ultimate frisbee’s highest levels of competition, the players must govern themselves without the arbitration of a referee, he said. For showing a consistent example of the sportsmanship and character that are central to the sport, Queen’s Doug Brodhead was awarded the Spirit of the Game award in the finals.

Brodhead and Lee were named tournament MVPs.

The men’s team will look to defend its national title at the Canadian University Ultimate Championships in Montreal on Oct. 14, 15, and 16.

“I think we have a great shot—we should be ranked first or second,” Lee said. “Our goal is definitely to win the nationals again.”

The women’s ultimate team was also in action at the Canadian Eastern Ultimate Championships this past weekend, finishing fifth overall.

Team member Emma Seaborne said she was pleased with the final outcome of the tournament.

“We have a lot of new people this year,” she said. “It turned out pretty good.”

The women’s team received dominating defense from Lindsay Earle and Krista Neale. Offensively they were sparked by the play of Teresa McAdam, Jill Fairley, Laura Kresovic, and Katie Geale. The handling of Taila Hartley, Carly Bassett, Meg Kilvert, and Kailee Novikoff was exceptional throughout the tournament.

The women’s team will join the men at nationals in Montreal in two weeks, and Seaborne said they are hoping to improve on their success.

Dan Robson loves his Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek.

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