Although Princeton qualified for nationals last year, its return was an unlikely accomplishment given the loss of a number of starters on last year’s roster.
“[Senior] Ming Lu is our only returning handler, while [senior co-captains] Kelly Weeks and Laura Bock are our only two returning starting cutters,” sophomore Madison Bush said. In frisbee jargon, handlers specialize in throwing the frisbee while cutters specialize in running to get open and catching the frisbee.
Another high point of the season was the team’s 8-1 performance at the High Tide Session III tournament in Georgia over spring break. The team’s sole loss came to Nebraska, but Lady Clockwork defeated then-No. 5 Smith with a score of 9-6 to win the tournament.
“We hope to see Smith again in the national tournament,” Bush said. “We beat them in Georgia to win the finals, and we know they’re out for blood.”
Weeks is optimistic about the team’s chances in Appleton but stressed the need for continued diligence in practice.
“Our biggest focus over the next month is improving our skills and fitness,” Weeks said. “We’re a strong team that can play well, but sometimes we get a little bit inside our own heads and make unnecessary errors. This is especially true near the end of tournaments when we’re tired from playing six to eight games in a weekend and don’t have a lot of subs.”
Senior captain Rachel Chen emphasized the importance of consistency in the execution of the team’s offense. “We want to play our game, the one we’ve been working on all season,” Chen said. “This means relying on our cutter flow, reacting quickly to field positions and using the entire field to work the disc to the endzone.”
Only 16 teams qualify for the national tournament, and the first day of the tournament is a three-to-four game series in round-robin format. Teams are re-seeded on the second day, and the top teams from each bracket advance into a single elimination bracket.
The men’s club ultimate frisbee team, Clockwork Orange, won its sectional tournament of six teams to advance to the regional tournament this weekend in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The team also finished second out of 20 teams at High Tide in Georgia and third out of 47 teams at the Roll Call tournament. Historically, the team has qualified for regionals but hasn’t advanced to the national tournament since 2000.
Ranked 50th nationally, Clockwork Orange will face steep competition from Cornell and No. 13 UConn.
“We are a tight team that looks to all our players to step up instead of relying on a few superstars,” junior captain Adlai Felser said. “We are hoping our depth can carry us far, and we are pumped to go out next weekend and win our region.”
Only a first-place finish in the 16-team regional tournament would secure a spot in the national tournament.
For both the men’s and women’s teams, the road to the championship is sure to be hotly contested, and a strong psychological approach will be key to the success of both teams.
“We really need to step up our mental game,” Bush said. “When it comes to nationals, we need to bring mental intensity to every point.”
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/04/25/30757/