By CAROLYN ROUSE
Just days after graduation, the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, Mary Massacre, will be nationals-bound. The Frisbee Nationals is hosted at College Station, Texas at Texas A&M, and will transpire May 18-19.
The team started off to a rocky start with their first tournament of the season when the team only claimed one win over the weekend. The team picked up the pace and performed well at their second tournament, and the momentum only continued.
They placed second at the Country Roads tournament in West Virginia which helped prepare them for regionals. The team was dominant in the beginning of the tournament and only lost the last game against Shippensburg–though it was enough to get them into regionals.
Mary Massacre entered the Atlantic D-III Regionals seeded sixth place. Over the course of two days, they defeated Catholic University twice, CNU, Goucher and UNC Asheville, only to finish the weekend undefeated. The team caused a major upset by un-seeding the top team in the region, Catholic University, who had won regionals and gone to nationals the last two years.
“We always knew we had the potential to push through and win the bid for nationals,” said junior Jenna Morgan.
The team’s excitement is evident and anticipation is building as the national tournament approaches, though it’s the team’s year-long determination that has landed them the only atlantic coast bid to nationals.
This will be their first trip to nationals since 2013.
“This year we really made an effort to remind ourselves of our goal of nationals. We came up with a motivator word which was #moonshoot which comes from the saying ‘shoot the moon.’ In this case, the moon was nationals,” said junior Laura Hannah.
Like most club sports, the team has been practicing multiple times a week. “We have been preparing physically through harder practices and workouts that will continue until nationals,” said Morgan.
In addition to these practices, they have been doing different types of training all year to prepare for their trip down south, according to Hannah. The team has been hosting practices three days a week throughout both the fall and spring semesters, alongside one day strictly dedicated to conditioning workouts.
“Three practices a week may not seem like a lot, but the girls take these practices seriously and have turned up the intensity this semester in order to prepare for nationals,” said Hannah.
While physical preparation is key, they have taken steps to maintain the mindset that is crucial for them to succeed. Aside from the team’s motto they preserve a positive, inclusive team environment and welcome newcomers to the sport with open arms.
This continued this year and even with the influx of new girls, the team was able to build on their past accomplishments and increase momentum. “This year we were blessed with a rookie group that was so enthusiastic and quick to learn. Our chemistry on and off the [field] has been so strong, and anyone that plays a team sport knows chemistry can make or break a game,” said Morgan.
Morgan continued, “I believe that Mary Massacre’s collective passion for the sport, intensity on the field and team chemistry is what got us to nationals.”
The top-competitive D-III teams from around the U.S. will be at nationals. “We’re just planning on going to have fun and play our game. [We’re] anticipating for it to be super fun and an insanely great learning experience for our team,” said Hannah.
Mary Massacre may play to win, but it’s all about having a good time.