All-Gender Ultimate Frisbee Travels for Round Robin Tournament on Saturday

Sakina Cotton ’24 and Everett Woo ’25 exchange a high-five during their game against Concord-Carlisle on April 12.

On Saturday, All-Gender Ultimate Frisbee traveled to Northampton High School to participate in a tournament against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH), Deerfield Academy, and Northampton High School, winning 12-6. On Wednesday, the team traveled once again and took on Lexington High School, in which they lost 2-15. 

Robert Shin ’23 outlined Andover’s tactics during their first game on Saturday. The team had been preparing for NMH’s unconventional defense and Shin described the game as an overall success. 

Shin said, “The first team we played against, they ran a defense that we’ve been preparing for the last week. So, I think we did a pretty good job considering this defense kind of trips up teams that aren’t used to it. After we practiced it for the past a couple days, I think we did a pretty good job countering it with our offense. I’d say the performance was pretty good for that game. I was happy with how a lot of the other players played and think the team spirit was really good for that game.”

Shin described Saturday’s games to be in a “round robin” style in which Andover played against three other teams. The first game, against NMH, was unconventional as NMH played an odd type of defense. In the second game against Deerfield, girls or non-binary (GNB) players were pulled up from Junior Varsity to play with Varsity. 

“So, the first game was against NMH and then the second game was against Deerfield and Deerfield has a really small team with a lot of GNB players… We actually lost that game and I think part of it could be playing with players we’re not used to playing with, like Varsity and JV players playing together… Then the third game, unlike the first game where they ran a sort of unconventional defense, this was like a very conventional game… So at first, because we had been practicing this other style of offense, it took us a little bit to adjust, and I don’t know if we really fully adjusted even by the end of the game but we still won and I think it had a lot to do with leadership from [members of] the team,” said Shin. 

Serafina Shin-von Nordenflycht ’25 pointed out that on Saturday, the team did a very good job of maintaining stamina. She described the team’s inclusive environment and how supportive and positive the energy on Saturday felt. 

Shin-von Nordenflycht said, “I think the team did a really good job at keeping the stamina up. That’s often a challenge at tournaments, but we have a really amazing community. That’s something that ultimate frisbee is definitely able to foster just because it’s such an inclusive space and by being in that round robin setting and having all these players who have your back, you’re constantly feeling hyped up and constantly having more energy to go on.”

Since Coach Scott Hoenig was not able to attend the tournament, a number of players took on a leader-like role. Shin highlighted various players on the team that stepped it up on Saturday to take on these roles. The players included Co-Captain Michael Hlavaty ’23, Co-Captain Charles Murphy ’23, Devan Hernandez ’23, and Carlos Cepeda-Diaz ’23. 

“[O]ur coach, Coach Hoenig, wasn’t present for the tournament… So I think the Captains Michael, Charles, Devan, and Carlos, [Devan and Carlos are] not Captain, but I think they stepped up a lot in leading who moves around on the field and kind of just taking charge of the team over the weekend,” said Shin.

On Wednesday, the team traveled to Lexington High School. Towards the start of the game, due to the score, Andover’s mood was low, according to Shin-von Nordenflycht. However, they were able to turn it around after about a quarter of the game had passed. 

“For the Wednesday game today, we didn’t do as well score wise, but I think we did really well play wise. I think there’s a point at which when you start losing, you get really downtrodden and you start believing that you, not that you are a loser, but that you’re bad at whatever you’re doing. And I think in the first bit of the game, we were in that mood, but around like the [second] half of the first half, we started really picking it up and playing,” said Shin-von Nordenflycht. 

On Wednesday, while the team had parts of their game that could still improve, Hernandez highlighted the team’s strong effort throughout the game. Hernandez looks forward to Saturday’s match with the intention of bouncing back after Wednesday’s loss. 

Hernandez wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “First off, I want to say that I think our team played hard out there today. I speak for myself and maybe for some others when I say I think we didn’t play to our potential — there were definitely aspects of our game that could be improved. It was the first time we threw a junk defense against another team, we weren’t calling some rule violations, and Lexington was an opponent that didn’t make many mistakes… Overall, there was a lot to take away from the tough loss today, but we’re going to take those lessons with us heading into our round robin on Saturday.”

Ultimate will play home on Saturday against Playday.