SMUT Wins: Captains Reflect on Championship

It all started on a balmy Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. The St. Mary’s Ultimate Team (SMUT) split into three teams, alumni, underclassmen, and upperclassmen. Our story follows the upperclassmen.

A team of eight girls and nine guys went on to do something the St. Mary’s Ultimate Team has never done: win a tournament. With one day to play a round robin coed tournament, SMUT had their work cut out for them. They had to win four games out of their pool followed by two more to become victors.

No doubt, legs were tired and tempers ran high, as SMUT desperately tried to defend their home turf.

The morning started off quickly, as SMUT rolled past Catholic University 13-5. The team was feeling solid and was ready to play the much-anticipated match-up with the alumni team. Davey Clough, co-captain of the men’s team, shares his thoughts on the matchup between the alumni team and the upperclassman team.

According to players, the game was friendly and joking between both teams but also very competitive. The home team was on the defense, so they had to get a turnover and then capitalize on it – leading up to a layout catch in the endzone to end the game.

The game was, as players put it, “an epic battle that easily rivaled the Iliad”, as the younger “SMUTTERS” came out on top. This game helped shape the rest of the day for SMUT.

They went into their bye round feeling good and seeing the light as they only had to be at Salisbury University and Liberty University to coast into the A bracket championships.

The Salisbury game proved to be difficult at first; however, SMUT came out on top 10-5. Liberty proved to be easy as SMUT won big 13-2. The team had plenty of opportunities to perfect their play as they prepared for the bracket play.

After reseeding all of the teams, SMUT upperclassmen were the easy favorites. They had a bye the first round, only to find themselves battling Loyola University. The game went back and forth for the first four points, until SMUT woke up and rallied.

“The whole time we were playing Loyola, we kept thinking about the coveted trophy that we desperately wanted to win,” senior Lucia Randazzo said. “At halftime we got our heads realigned as we jumped around and sang our favorite SMUT cheer. This is the one thing we needed to get going again and show Loyola what’s up.”

SMUT went on to beat Loyola 10-5, to setup a matchup between Liberty’s A team and themselves.

“We wanted this more than anything before,” senior co-captain Brian van Parys said. “We wanted this tournament to be a springboard for the rest of the spring season and for Sectionals and we desperately wanted to bring home the trophy.”

Due to darkness the two teams decided to play the championship game to nine instead of 13. SMUT started off strong by utilizing all the players on their team. Elizabeth Benge, a senior rookie on the girl’s team was especially proud of that.

“It was such an incredible experience to be a part of a team that fostered mutual respect of the male and female players.”

The team was clearly feeling good as they started pulling out a little trickery for the crowd that gathered to watch the championship game. Tricky throws and gratuitous layouts were happening on every point. The defense was strong and was not allowing Liberty to score at all.

The final score was 9-0 in favor of SMUT making them the first ever team in SMUT history to win a tournament. “It was an incredible day full of ultimate, scoring, and hanging out with great friends,” junior Chris Robinson said. “Winning the tournament will go down as one of my favorite memories of school history.”

SMUT is continuing their winning ways as the men’s team took home a first place trophy at the annual spring break tournament in Brunswick, Georgia. Come out to support your fellow SMUTTERS April 16 and 17 as they look to win their section and travel on to Buffalo, NY for ultimate nationals.

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