By JOEY MERKEL
“Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow. And everywhere that Mary went, she caught that disc fo’ sho’.
Fo’ sho, fo’ sho’, fo’ sho.”
So goes a cheer that the University of Mary Washington women’s ultimate Frisbee team screams to get themselves psyched up for a game.
The “Mary Massacre” has not been hiding. You can see them every week, practicing either on Ball Circle or the Kenmore fields. But you would be right in thinking that you’ve never seen them take to the field.
That’s because in the last four years, the force to be reckoned with that is the Mary Massacre has never gotten the opportunity to play a match on any of the numerous Mary Washington fields.
But after waiting their whole college careers, the seniors on the women’s ultimate frisbee team finally got their opportunity to play a match on the UMW campus.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said senior Caitlin Goldman.
Goldman, one of the leaders on the team, may have been joking and exaggerating a bit. But for these seniors, and the rest of the Mary Massacre, means a lot.
“This is my fourth year playing frisbee and it was really cool for my friends and family to finally get to see us play here at home,” she said.
This year, there is a strong freshman presence that shows a lot of potential. Though some start playing for different reasons, one thing is for sure: once you join, you’re hooked.
“I got into Frisbee because I got wanted to get into a sport that wasn’t super serious. Varsity sports practice everyday,” said freshman Mary Cait Nannery. “I wanted to stay active in college but do something that was fun, and the Frisbee kids are really nice, so it’s a much better community than a lot of teams that I’ve played on.”
The Massacre came up big in their first match ever at home, against the University of Richmond, the first of three games in a four-team tournament with the College of William and Mary, and the University of Virginia.
The young squad had numerous first-time players on Sunday, but was able to squeak out an 8-7 win over Richmond.
A standard “ultimate” game has no time limit. Instead, it ends when one team reaches 13 points. Halftime occurs when either team reaches the seven-point mark.
However, Sunday’s match against Richmond was a hard-fought battle in which a “hard cap” was put on the end of the game. The hard cap put a one hour and 30 minute time limit on the length of the match. Halftime occurred when Richmond went up 6-5.
The team has a strong veteran presence, but is in the process of being handed over to a much younger group of players.
For most of these rookies, Sunday was their first opportunity to get a significant amount of playing time, and it’s a good thing, because regionals will be creeping up in no time.
The lucky freshmen, the wait for their first home match wasn’t very long. Nannery was excited to get to play and was impressed with the way the team played.
“This past weekend I think we did pretty well, [although] I’m still learning,” Nannery said. “But I feel like with this team, even if you’re not too good or if you haven’t played before, they teach you and they help you out a lot.”
Though they were able to hold off Richmond, the Massacre was not as successful against UVA or William and Mary. A more experienced Virginia team reached 13 quickly and never looked back for a shutout win.
“Remember when the Monstars played the Toonsquad [in Space Jam]? We’re like the Toonsquad. We don’t have Michael [Jordan], but we do have Lauren Bell, who’s five feet tall,” Goldman said.
“It’s going be a tough year with having so many new players, but with strong seniors like Emily Curtis, Erika Kamptner and Kari Van Kommer, we definitely have a chance to make it to regionals if we work hard enough.”
The William and Mary game held more success than the Virginia game, but again, the Massacre came up short, losing 13-3.
The team was not expecting to win either game due to lack of experience but players were very proud at the way their team handled themselves.
Senior Casey Mitchell has been playing ultimate for four years and doesn’t plan on stopping.
“[I started playing the] first week of school freshman year. I switched from playing soccer for the last twelve years and have been stuck ever since,” she said. “[The tournament last weekend] was a great opportunity for all of the new players to get playing time. I think it was a great learning experience for everyone and a lot of fun.”
If you didn’t have a chance to go see the match, don’t worry. The team is hoping that there will be more tournaments in the Spring season.