UMD Ultimate Frisbee Club season preview

LakEffect

The Women’s Ultimate Frisbee club team has over 20 players from a wide range of experience levels. They have a full schedule this season with three tournaments during fall semester around the Iowa and Wisconsin area, along with four in spring semester — one of which will be taking place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

One of LakEffect’s biggest strengths as a team heading into this season is their youth.

“We have a strong sophomore core that will really benefit the team, not only this year but in the years to come,” sophomore captain Mackenzie Olson said.

The young core, while having its benefits, also means that there will be some growing pains as the season progresses.

“We’re kind of in the rebuilding stage this year,” senior captain Madeline Crockett said.

One goal this team hopes to achieve this year is making the regional tournament (regions). In order for that to happen, they need to place within the top six of the seven teams in their section. If they do make regions, they will have some tough competition as their region has some of the best teams in the nation.

“One thing we want to work on is having the mindset of trying to get more competitive and compete with those teams,” Crockett said.

LakEffect Women’s Ultimate started in 2005, and while each year has its ups and downs in player numbers, they are hoping for continual growth each year through recruitment of freshman players.

Northern Lights

While LakEffect’s strength lies in their youth, the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Club team has been able to keep the same core group of players, only losing three seniors from last season.

Northern Lights could be participating in as many as nine tournaments this year, with four tournaments in fall semester and as many as five in the spring.

Despite the continuity of experienced players, junior captain Marty Adams still hopes that the team focuses on improving day-by-day.

“Each day we want to come in, work hard and get better at the little things,” Adams said.

After achieving last year’s goal of beating their previous seed in regions, Adams has his sights set on Northern Lights placing within the top five in their region this year. Ranking in the top five will likely place the team with much larger schools, such as Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota Twin Cities. It’s a big goal to achieve, but Adams believes it’s definitely possible with this year’s group of players.

Even though Northern Lights mostly consists of experienced Frisbee players, they are always open to new players at the start of the season because at one point, they were all in the same position of having to learn an entirely new sport.

To keep updated throughout the ultimate Frisbee season at UMD, follow LakEffect and Northern Lights’ Twitter and Facebook pages.

Originally published with the UMD Statesman on Oct. 11, 2016:

http://www.theumdstatesman.com/sports-and-outdoors/2016/10/11/umd-ultimate-frisbee-club-season-preview?rq=Kevin%20Ott