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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

CUT and Syzygy place second at Regionals, advance to Nationals in Boulder

<st weekend in Decorah, IA, four of Carleton’s ultimate frisbee teams battled premiere competition from the around the upper Midwest at the Central Regionals, a double-elimination tournament held to produce qualifiers for the College National Championships. With two Nationals bids up for grabs on both the men’s and women’s sides, Carleton’s premiere male and female ultimate frisbee teams, CUT and Syzygy both came in to the weekend seeded second in the region and expecting to advance. CUT and Syzygy took care of business despite adverse weather conditions on Saturday, both finishing in second place in the region and securing bids to the UPA College National Championships, held seventh weekend in Boulder, CO.

On Saturday, CUT used their depth, experience, and overall team speed to defeat overmatched opponents Northern Iowa, Marquette, and Minnesota, setting up a Sunday final against their archrival and defending national champions, the Wisconsin Hodags,. CUT breezed through Northern Iowa and Marquette and then defeated third seed Minnesota 15-3 in the semi-finals. In the other semi-final, Wisconsin got a scare from Iowa who came back from down 13-6 to tie the score 13-13, before losing 14-13.

The men’s final was a hotly contested affair, with over sixty calls made by the players on the field. The Hodags jumped out to a 4-2 lead, but CUT was able to battle back to a 5-5 tie and take the half 8-7. Wisconsin came out of halftime fired up and immediately scored, and battled back to tie the game at 10-10. The teams were very evenly matched, but due to a few dubious calls by the observers and big plays Wisconsin’s defense, they were able to defeat CUT 13-10, sending CUT to the “backdoor game” in order to secure the bid to Nationals.

Syzygy also cruised few their first few games on Saturday, defeating Carleton’s own Eclipse 15-1, and shutting out Minnesota 15-0, setting up a semifinal date with the up and coming Wisconsin-Eau Claire “Sol.” In the battle for the better astronomy based team name, Syzygy defeated the Sol 12-9, behind the solid handling of Megan Molteni ‘08, Beth Mynar ‘08, and the cutting of Taylor Ross ’08, who was a huge target downfield.

Syzygy’s three wins on the day set up a final date with a familiar foe, the number one seeded Wisconsin Bella Donna. Syzygy came out on fire in Sunday’s final, surprising Bella Donna and taking a 5-1 lead. Although the Bella Donna made several comeback attempts, Syzygy’s combination of well-timed continuation cutting, pressure defense, and precise throws helped them maintain a lead until 12-9. At this point, the wind became a factor, and Wisconsin’s veteran throwers seemed more comfortable with the disc, as they battled back to tie the game at 13-13, and then score twice more for the 15-13 win.

Following the losses to the respective Wisconsin teams, CUT and Syzygy had to play the back door game to earn the second bid to Nationals. CUT was up against Minnesota again as Syzygy had to face Eau Claire. CUT came out fired up and took it to Minnesota from the start to win in commanding style 15-4. On the girls side, Syzygy came out strong, but Eau Claire fought back before Syzygy finished it out 15-11.

Carleton’s second male team, GoP, came into the tournament seeded 13th, and managed a ninth place finish, making other teams look dull and boring with their trademark Hawaiian-shirt uniforms. GoP defeated St. Johns and Marquette during the tourney, and won the heckling contest during the men’s finals, helping out their follow Carls. Super sophomore Salomone Baquis eloquently summed up GoP’s play on the weekend, with the anecdote, “It was like dinosaurs battling space aliens, but don’t quote me on that.” GoP will be competing in DIII Nationals in late May.

While all of these finishes were impressive, the real surprise on the weekend was Carleton’s second women’s team, Eclipse. They came in seeded 15th broke seed and defeated 5th seeded Luther College 15-13 in the 9th place game to achieve their highest ever Regional finish, and moving senior captain Becky Leichtling to tears.

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