Ultimate Tumbles Through Tourney, Throws Away Final Three Games

This past Saturday, in the last games of the 2004 season, the Andover Ultimate team ventured to Greenfield Massachusetts to participate in an eight-team tournament. Present at the tournament were Ultimate powerhouses North Field Mount Hermon, who was 3-0 versus the Big Blue this season, Needham High, the dark horse of the tourney, and Amherst, who was the best high school team in the country and fresh off a third place finish in a college tournament. The Andover team entered the tournament with an open mind, knowing that it might be outgunned, but it would certainly try its hardest. The boys in blue, having been assigned to the toughest bracket, took on a team in their first game that they knew all too well: NMH. Andover Ultimate had played the Hoggers a whopping three times already in the 2004 season. The two teams knew each other so well that they could name the individual members of the opposing team. In a hotly contested game, one in which the Big Blue played some of the best Ultimate it had played all season, the Andover team fell for the fourth straight time to the NMH Hoggers. Outstanding play came from Darren DeFreeuw ’04 and Peter Kalmakis ’06, but their efforts were not enough to stop NMH from taking home another win. The next game was against top-ranked Amherst. Upon entering the game, the Andover team knew that this was a game it would probably lose, so the boys tried to have some fun. Six points and no more than eight minutes later, things weren’t so fun. Amherst had knocked down six in a row. The Andover team was able to retaliate however on a nice d-block from co-captain Martin Quinones ’04 and then a gorgeous reception off a long pass by DeFreeuw. That point would be the only one Andover would get all day, as Amherst took the game 13-1. From there the Andover squad took on Needham High. Coming into the tournament, no one had heard much of anything about Needham, maybe a whisper here or there about Needham having a solid season. But while the Big Blue were busy getting their rear-ends handed to them by the Amherst Hurricanes, Needham beat NMH in overtime. Andover’s game with Needham started off very poorly. The Big Blue played very lazy Ultimate, and Needham took the half 7-1 easily. In the second half, however, Andover rebounded heavily, trading points evenly with Needham. Unfortunately, thanks to the poor first half performance, the boys’ improvement was not enough to secure the game as Andover picked up its third loss of the day. The last game of the day was against Andover High, essentially the ‘toilet bowl’ of the tournament, battling for second to last place. Unfortunately, due to a lack of subs and maybe low morale, the boys in blue played very poorly in its final game. It was a sour end so an already tough tournament. Exeter was supposed to come to PA on Wednesday afternoon to take on the Big Blue, but the Exies called and cancelled. So instead, the seniors scrimmaged the underclassmen. Despite a heroic under-dog performance from the underclassmen, the seniors took the game 15-9. The team finished the season with a record of 4-11-1, and will greatly miss the graduating seniors. Captains have yet to be decided for next year, but the team would like to wish the seniors the best of luck playing Ultimate in College; they will be missed.