Women’s Ultimate Team Places Fifth at Brown Frisbee Tourney

The MIT women’s ultimate frisbee team “sMITe” wrapped up its fall season this past weekend with a fifth-place finish at Huck-a-Hunk-O’-Burnin’-Pumpkin, a 12-team, two-day tournament hosted by Brown University in Portsmouth, R.I.

On the cold and windy Saturday, sMITe defeated Harvard University “Quasar” 10-3, before losing to Brown University Alumni 8-6. Meredith N. Silberstein G caught two hucks (long throws) from Karen K. Shu G to score two in a row, but it wasn’t enough against a team that also featured several sMITe alumnae.

The Engineers, dressed up for the costume-themed tournament as Captain Planet and the Planeteers (from the animated ’90s television show), came back for a strong finish 11-5 against Brown to secure a spot in the championship bracket.

“It was definitely exciting,” said Chenxia Liu ’10, one of this year’s new recruits. “The weather … made it hard to throw straight.”

Sunday started with a close-fought game against Boston University. Once again, chilly fingers led to long points with many turnovers; MIT lost 6-4 when the game was time-capped. MIT went on to win the consolation bracket, defeating Dartmouth University 9-4 and then coming from behind to overtake Wesleyan University 11-10, securing fifth place in the tournament.

“sMITe’s fundamentals of smart offensive flow and shut-down team defense have carried through,” said coach and former team member Darlene E. Ferranti ’06, who congratulated the team on playing with intensity throughout the season. “We’ve built a solid base this fall. Spring will be about forming a cohesive team who knows each other instinctually on the field.”

There are 16 new players on the roster this season, with 11 players returning. “We got lucky to have so many enthusiastic, hard-working, fast learners this season,” said Ferranti. “The … challenge of college level ultimate is that the teams are always in flux. Each year is a new experience as players continually improve year after year, and new talent brings new styles.”

MIT played six tournaments this fall, as well as several “Beanpot” scrimmages against area schools, winning the Carpe Discum Tournament at Smith College in October, and the Pat Bell Memorial Tournament at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in November.

“I think we have a chance at Nationals this spring,” said returning player Doris Lin G. MIT last competed at the Ultimate Players Association College Nationals in 2005, when it came in ninth.