Ultimate Finishes Season at New Englands

The Varsity Ultimate team has again put together a strong season, placing fourth at New Englands. The team traveled to NMH on Saturday, May 14 to defend their New England Championship, won in 2019. The team entered the tournament seeded fifth in New England and competed in an initial pool with top-seeded Andover and four-seed Cheshire Academy. While the team lost to Andover in their first game, the players rebounded back with a dominant win 7-4 over Chesire to advance to the playoffs. In their first playoff game, the team put up a valiant fight against the three-seed Williston Northampton. While Williston began the game leading 4-1, the team stormed back in the first half to tie the score 4-4. The team continued to fight, but was eventually outplayed by Williston, who would eventually win the entire tournament. The team finished the day with a hard fought 7-6 loss to Andover to finish 4th in New England.

In many ways, the season was one of remarkable improvement and resiliency. Despite losing two out of their first three games of the season, the team bounced back, achieving a record of 15-4 as the Connecticut State Championship approaches on Saturday, May 21.

After two years without a competitive season, the players have worked to acclimate to the high-paced game. For some, doing so is just shaking off the rust, while for others, it is an entirely new and challenging experience. Through intense yet fun training, all  members of the team have improved dramatically. “Whatever happens, we are always focused on the next play, the next throw, and the next catch,” said Captain Emiliano Leal ’23. “The en- tire team has really bought into that idea of not dwelling on our mistakes, and I think that’s propelled us to success.”

That success has been the product of a combination of good team culture, high energy, and a next-play mindset. The team’s philosophy, “0-0 game to 1,” coined by Head Coach David Thompson, keeps the team motivated and focused on what’s
ahead. Varsity Ultimate Assistant Coach Eric Stone said, “As we play more teams and see more defenses and offenses, we can learn to adapt to new situations; we will take what we have seen and apply it to our game. We always need to improve our technical skills as there are many ways to throw a disc and many ways to get open. The players are doing a good job of drinking out of that fire hose because there is a lot to learn in a very short time.”

While the result in the New England tournament was a let down for many members of the team, the team will continue to focus on the games in front of them, as well as winning the Connecticut State Tournament.

“Our goal for the remainder of the season is to just come out and play our best in every point of every game,” said Coach Thompson. “We’re not taking anything for granted. We’ve seen how good the other teams are, but if we continue to do what we’ve been doing, I think we’ll be competitive.”