Frisbee team tossed from nationals

Mark Heller

Despite being the 11th of 12 seeds, some members of Minnesota’s ultimate Frisbee club team felt they had a shot to steal a couple of games in national competition last weekend in Boulder, Colo.
This optimism came on the heels of finishing third in the central region championships and receiving a nationals invitation when second-place Wisconsin declined to go to the tournament.
It also came in part as a kind of desperation this team has resorted to while having to play most of its matches six-on-seven.
But the other teams who earned invitations to the national tournament were too good for the short-handed University squad, as Minnesota (8-10) lost all five of its matches over the weekend.
No. 3 Stanford won the national championship for the third consecutive year, defeating perennial runner-up Carleton of Northfield, Minn., 17-9.
“(We had) five losses, but that doesn’t show how we played,” Sarah Hagen said. “It was the best I’ve ever seen us play and the hardest I’ve ever seen us play. We’ve faced Carleton before and a lot of teams comparable to Carleton. It was the best teams in the country and competition we can’t get around here.”
Minnesota’s 15-12 loss to Princeton on Saturday was by far the closest game it played. Minnesota lost to Brown 15-3 and Carleton 15-5, British Columbia 15-2 and Yale 15-5.
Fortunately, the throwers almost never had to play six-on-seven, but instead had the regular seven on the field and no one in reserve. That strategy cost them against Princeton.
“Some teams had so many subs,” Beth Volden said. “That was one of our big downfalls. We would have done a lot better if we had some subs. We just ran into a wall and couldn’t do anything else.”
The losses aside, Minnesota can take consolation in being a dramatically undermanned squad that ran with the best in the nation. If nothing else, the experience should serve as a shot in the arm for the sport’s popularity on campus.
“This will definitely draw a lot of attention to our sport,” Hagen said. “It shows that we’re serious about it and we’re successful at it. All those things will be very attractive for people interested in sports and competing.”