by Faith Rahman
The last time the Waterloo Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team made it to the first division at the Canadian University Ultimate Championships (CUUC) was 2014. This year, the team lost to only two teams the entire season, marking the very first time that they made it to top division and medalled in third place.
Team captains Miranda Ko, Hannah To, and Jessie Tsang, attribute their win to their hard-working and passionate team that clicked right from the start.
With a diverse group of 24 members, rookies played alongside veterans that have toured with Waterloo Region teams and Team Canada to kick off Fall 2018 with a win. At their first tournament, the team was up against Queen’s University, who the captains said had a history of winning.
“They were our toughest competition,” To said.
However, Tsang said that despite having little expectations of winning the first game, the team pulled through and played as if they had worked together for a long time.
During the game, the two teams had tied, putting Universe Point into effect – which is when the game becomes a sudden death situation where the winner takes all. Connie Xiong, one of the team’s rookies, had executed a layout grab in the endzone, scoring them the entire first tournament.
At CUUC 2018, which took place Oct. 12-14 in Brampton, Waterloo achieved a 13-8 win against McMaster in their final game, snagging third place nationally.
In spite of this impressive feat, it wasn’t smooth sailing from start to finish. Going into the first game at nationals and occupying third in Division 1, Waterloo Women’s Ultimate lost against another team that they had previously played and beaten and had been at the bottom of their division prior to their game.
“Moving on, it was a huge mental game for us because we just came from this devastating loss,” To said. “We had to come back, pick the team back up.”
Ko said that despite the temporary setback, they knew that they could still podium.
This term, the captains ensured that they restructured the way things were ran in the past, which included bringing on more first-years in whom they saw potential. As they had a group with a high skill level and their practice attendance was a lot higher, they were able to forego fundamentals and work on strategies instead.
“We set a high goal of being competitive … but also promoting and fostering a loving environment within the team,” Tsang said.
“We tried really hard to maintain a relationship with the girls outside of Ultimate,” To said. “I think that when you’re comfortable with your captains and teammates outside of the sport, it translates onto the field where that relationship, trust, and chemistry is there.”
Although the season is over, all three captains continue to appreciate the lasting connections created between team members throughout the term and hope to successfully pass on the torch for next term.
The captains would like to thank their coaches for all their support throughout the past season.