Commentary by Francesco Campese
A two-day Ultimate Frisbee tournament was held at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. Saturday.
There were only four schools present: Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University and The University. Due to the size of most teams, they were broken up into more than one team, although our team remained as one team. Rutgers alone had four teams including a team of solely alumni.
We brought a smaller team to the tournament, which proved troublesome, as the amount of subs on our team were far smaller than most teams.
Our first game was against the Rutgers alumni, a team on which every player had at least four plus years of experience. Even with a valiant effort, we lost to the alumni team 13-4.
The wind started to pick up as the second game versus the Rutgers Y team began. The wind proved to be the difference maker in the game, making throws harder to complete, and deep throws almost impossible.
We went into halftime up 7-5, but lost momentum afterwards and fell to the Rutgers Y team 10-9 in the end due to the tournament’s time constraints. The game ended on a great catch that barely got past a Scranton defender.
With the wind continuing to be a factor, we got over our loss and suited up to face Stevens’s “X” team. A similar game began to unfold; whatever team was going down wind scored every point. All it took was an offense to be able to score upwind to break the constant tying. We broke the tie as we entered half the half up 7-5 again.
With a hard fought half, we held the lead at the time constraint by one, which forced another point to see if Stevens could tie the game up. They did on an upwind, heartbreaking point filled with incredible saving catches and great throws. In the end, they scored going downwind, leaving us in defeat 10-9 again.
The last game was against Rowan’s “X” team. Oddly enough, we found ourselves again vying to see who could break the tie with an upwind point, and again we succeeded and went into halftime up 7-5.
After a rallying speech from Captain James Lolli, we took the field hungry for at least one victory for the day. The game got close again and we faced another nail biter. Up 8-7, we needed one more score to finish the game with the time cap on.
The game winning strike came on a 30-yard pass to Krista Ziegler to finish the game.
Tired and hungry, we went back to the Dunbar’s house. The Dunbar’s were very gracious and let the team stay at their fantastic house for the weekend.
With the round- robin games ending on Saturday, the pool play began early Sunday morning.
We opened up our first game Sunday against NJIT. The windy conditions were far worse on Sunday than Saturday, forcing teams to focus on short throws to advance down the field.
The first game was brought to halftime with us up, 8-4, after breaking the tie twice in a row with two great working offensive drives going upwind. Both ended with spectacular catches from Phillip Dunbar in the end zone.
After a 4-4 run, the game ended on the time cap, and we won 12-8.
The 6th game of the two-day tournament against Rutgers “X” team was the most adrenaline-fueled game of the season thus far. Our opponents were Rutgers “X” team. A streamlined start lead by Captains Lolli and John Curtis helped get us off to a quick 4-0 lead. Once the fourth point was scored the game changed.
One player in particular caused commotion as he called multiple fouls and caused many arguments between the teams, eventually requiring the presidents of both clubs to step in
We took half with a score of 8-3. A slow start gave Rutgers a chance to come back, making the score 9-7. The final point was so long that it went through both time caps and resulted in us winning 10-7.
After playing our hearts out, we headed into our last game exhausted, against a formidable Stevens “Y” team that had merged with its other team, giving them over three times as many players. This meant Stevens had many more subs than our team.
The game opened like many and resulted in a blow-by-blow performance with us prevailing in the end 11-9, scoring with a clutch up wind point to wind in time cap.
After the final game, Club President, Jimmy Jankarelli, said, “We walked into a D1 tournament with schools that have thousands of people and we get complimented over and over again for how hard we worked. These past two days have been constant hard work and passion, and that is how we were able to keep going.”
With the weekend behind us, we turn our sights towards our next and final tournament of the fall season at Wilkes in two weekends.