UConn's Tournament (a.k.a Bootycall)

The 2012 Emen finished out the regular season at UConn's "Bootycall" tournament, looking to defend our title from last year (when the tournament was called "One Nightstand"). This would be our last chance to tweak our strategies and practice execution before the series. With Sectionals coming up on the 14/15 of April we were looking forward to working hard against some top level Regional competition.


On Saturday our pool consisted of games against Wesleyan, UMass, Maryland and Williams, in that order, with the last game of pool play coming on Sunday morning against Boston University.


Although we came out a bit slow in this game, our confidence built as time went on. It took us a few points to adjust to a short field and the O-line was forced to work on in cuts leading to goal line dump-swings. The defense was very effective at working upwind, with Nino Figliola and Will Wong keeping the disc moving. A few breaks going into half followed by a few more shortly after half put the game away for the Emen. 15-9 victory.


Another slow start for us, as we were broken upwind on the first point and subsequently went down 4-1. Late in the first half we started to find our feet and a huge layout callahan from Freshman Tyler Chan helped us roll into half back up a couple of breaks. Again, the key to this game was discipline with the disc on both offense and defense as the windy conditions made moving upfield a bit tricky. We traded a few points out of half but put in two breaks to finish the game off, 13-9.


In the most anticipated game of pool play, we matched up against the University of Maryland Space Bastards and Senior Jack Hatchett's identical twin brother. The first half was a battle until the end when a marathon point ended in a break for the Emen. Maryland was a team that liked the deep ball and Jack Hatchett and co. on the D-line adjusted accordingly. Going into half up 8-6 we were a few execution errors away from a larger margin. In the second half the D-line handlers stood out -- distributing well and working off of each other on turns. Once the disc was in the the hands of the cutters, Robby Perkins-High and Lloyd Olson among others worked hard to keep it moving upfield. The result was a few more breaks and 15-10 victory.


In our last game of the day on Saturday we faced Williams, the 2 seed in the pool. Our depth was helpful in this game as we came out fresh despite it being our 4th game of the day. The O-line was efficient thanks to ruthless cutting by Adrian Banerji and Sam K-S, leaving the D-line plenty of opportunities to face the Williams offense. There were a few marathon points, but we did a good job of working hard through them and punching in breaks. Though the score was 8-3 at halftime, Williams was a very hard working team that we knew would not back down. The second half was a bit of a grind for us, as Williams stepped it up a notch, challenging our D-line. They gained a few breaks back, but we closed out and took the game 15-10.


Unfortunately BU was unable to make it on Sunday so we took a 5-0 record to the Semifinals on Sunday.


Heading into Sunday with a luxurious 1 pm start time, coaches Mike Bright and Jeff Brown emphasized our need to come out fired up against teams that had already had a chance to find their legs. We were set to face Maryland (again) in the Semifinals, who had come off of big wins against UMass and Cornell.

Seminals vs. Maryland:

In our second matchup of the weekend Maryland came at us hard with swing for the fences offense and solid zone defense. Deep coverage by Jack Hatchett and Alex Cooper was key to stopping the huck and on offense Cooper, Eric "Rickshaw" Shaw and Mike "Iago" Hagenow were patient with the disc, finding ways to break through the cup. Despite a couple of drops and Jack getting roasted deep by his twin, we went into half with an 8-5 lead. In the second half the O-line attempted to cut out the bailout scores that had characterized our first half. Patient cutting and a little more focus helped our efficiency. Again the D-line cutters took over on turns with Tyler Chan, Nick "DH" Adolph and Dan Pavitt all making solid plays to keep the disc moving upfield. The breaks started to come and we took a 14-7 victory and bid to the finals.

Finals vs. UConn:

The finals would be our last chance to perform in the regular season and it was a high energy, big play game against a tall, skilled UConn team. Breaks came back and forth a few times in the first half, as the O-line cutters did well to get open, but gave the disc up a few times on miscommunications and drops. The UConn defense did not give the disc back easily and demanded that our O-line work hard to regain possession. The D-line did an excellent job of generating turns thanks to Will Wong's relentless mark and Jack and Lloyd's deep coverage. Nino again shined as a handler on the turn, often complemented by Rickshaw or Cooper. A break heading into half gave us an 8-7 lead. Energy was the name of the game coming out of the break and we finally tightened the screws on offense. Piers Macnaughton was unstoppable in the cutting lanes and Cooper again wowed fans and opponents alike with his arsenal of throws. Though UConn was an extremely talented and hard-working team, our fire and execution helped us to a 15-10 victory to defend our title. Check out a video of our game winning break at the bottom of the post.

A big thanks goes out to all the parents who came this weekend to feed us and cheer us on. Also, shout out to Nate "Noodles" Tenczar and Ryan "Irish Creme" Bailey for coming out to film for us.

What's Next:

Conference Championships: April 14-15 @ MIT

Regionals: May 5-6 @ Dartmouth


[vimeo http://vimeo.com/40010973]


Edit: Gene never toots his own horn in his recaps, but his steady presence and strong cutting were essential to the success of our offensive line all weekend. Freshman Carter Thallon's fantastic work rate on both sides of the disc stood out this weekend as well.


Queen City Tune Up

As many of you know the 2012 Emen headed down to Charlotte, North Carolina this past weekend for our first tournament. Queen City Tune-Up historically attracts some solid competition from up and down the east coast so we were psyched to take the field for the first time this spring against some new teams. Saturday:

We came in seeded 1st overall, in a pool with North Carolina - Wilmington, Virginia, Penn State and Cinncinnati. Conditions on Saturday were rough to say the least. The temperature hovered around 40 degrees for most of the day, but felt much colder due to wind chill. Weather reports said that winds reached 40 mph at times on Saturday, never really dropping below 20 mph. The impact of the gusts was felt in pool play games. In the first game against Cinncinnati it took a while to find our feet, but we pushed through and got a few breaks late in the first half. Although we took the lead, we had some trouble defending against their huck and play D mentality causing a closer game than we had hoped. In the end we pulled out a 10-8 win and looked forward to the next game against Virginia. Facing last years National qualifiers out of the Atlantic Coast region, we came out a bit stronger. The offense started to click and the D stepped up and generated turn after turn. Again we battled through the wind for a few breaks and took the game 10-6. After a lunch time bye we faced Penn State, with the wind still whipping. Our opponents relied heavily on a zone D, which handlers Alex Cooper and Eric Shaw made quick work of. On defense we shut down their cutters early and made strong use of the turnovers we generated en route to a 13-5 victory. Our final game of the day pitted us against the #2 seed in our pool UNC-W. With winds blowing as strong as they had all day, the game became an upwind downwind battle. UNC-W broke twice out of the gate and we never were able to climb back, losing 9-7 on the hard cap.

We ended the day on Saturday with a 3-1 record, placed second in our pool.


We started Sunday bright and early with a pre-quarters match up against North Carolina State. The weather looked to be a little bit more co-operative on the second day, with winds coming down to a tamer 15ish mph. Though the morning was chilly, as the day progressed it warmed up a bit, mimicking conditions that we will likely see come series time in New England. In the Pre-Quarters match up we came out with precision and intensity that we had struggled to find on Saturday. Nick Adolph started the day off with a layout D and the tenacity continued from there as the D-line ran off break after break against NC State. Downfield defense was excellent and patience with the disc was the name of the game as we rolled to a 12-3 victory. In the Quarterfinals we faced Regional rivals Dartmouth for the first of what will likely be a number of matchups this spring. As always it was a hard fought game against Pain Train. We traded early as both teams tried to establish offensive consistency and aggressive defense. Dartmouth got the first upwind break midway through the first half on a series of upline cuts but our offense answered back and put the defense back on the field. Things started to click and late in the first half the D-line strung together a chain of breaks to give us an 8-5 lead.

In the second half we continued to pressure their offense, while converting our opportunities on with the disc. We managed to push through another break, although they broke back to end the game. When the hard cap went off the result was a 14-11 victory and a trip to the Semifinals.

In the Semifinals we faced off against Ohio Valley contenders Ohio University, who had battled by Michigan in their Quarterfinal matchup. In a minor twist, our field location changed to a less protected field that was much more susceptible to the wind. Though the change was not a huge factor, both teams had to adjust their styles a bit to fit the weather. Ohio was a very fast team that moved the disc quickly and precisely. On defense they ran a tight zone to pressure our handlers, coupled with a few points of man defense. We traded early in the first half with both teams doing a good job of valuing the disc on offense. Our D-line began to generate turns, however, thanks to solid marks and lock down cutter D from Jack Hatchett, Robby Perkins-High and company.

Our combination of offensive consistency and defensive intensity proved to be too much for Ohio as the first half went on, leading to an 8-4 Tufts lead at halftime. In the second half Ohio started to click on offense a bit, utilizing their deep game to score a few points. At the same time our offense continued to handle their defensive looks, working the disc down to the goal line and hitting the open looks in the end zone. After trading points for a while, the D-line grabbed another break, and the hard cap horn went off soon after. The final score was 14-8.

In the finals we got the opportunity to avenge our loss to UNC-W from the day before. With winds at a much tamer level the game would prove to be a much more skilled affair than the previous matchup, with both teams running consistent offensive looks rather than hucking downwind and playing defense.

Though both teams had a bit of trouble taking care of the disc early in the game, we traded points to start the first half. It would be our D-line that would put up the first breaks. Will Wong and Eric Wilburn anchored a patient handling corp and Cenzo Vitiello and Lloyd Olson worked hard to keep the disc moving downfield. By making the most of the turnovers that our defenders generated we were able to establish an 8-3 halftime lead.

In the second half we traded points up to 10-6, at which point UNC-W got their first and only break of the game. From then on out it was all Tufts as the offense held on the ensuing point and the D-line ran off 4 breaks. Nick Adolph and Carter Thallon played great man defense down the stretch and, as always, Piers Macnaughton defied all laws of physics when making plays downfield on offense. After Will Wong called a timeout on the goal line Lloyd Olson broke free to the cone for the winning break. The final score was 15-7.

After the game Piers Macnaughton was awarded the Skyd Magazine MVP award by No Look Scoober's Bryan Jones. All in all it was a solid weekend, highlighted by great play on both sides of the disc on Sunday. Although the conditions were challenging on Saturday we stuck it through and played Tufts Ultimate, improving every step of the way. Now it's back indoors to prepare for Centex and Easterns in mid-March.

- GB

(Photo credit for all the pictures in the post goes to Miller Yoho. A big thanks to him for getting some great shots of the weekend)

Winter Training Thoughts

As Ultimate players from New England, we all know the drill when it comes to the winter season. You run on indoor tracks, lift weights, throw on basketball courts and dream of the sunny days during which you can actually lace up your cleats and feel the grass. As a college player I think that winter break is one of the biggest challenges that the season holds. After the exhilaration of creating the foundation for the team comes the strange feeling of being detached from your new teammates and your school. While my personal experiences with winter break have always been a little bit frustrating (as is expected), I've never felt a considerable road block when working out alone. This year is going to be a bit more of a challenge for me. During the fall my formerly independent training habits changed, and I found myself gravitating towards my teammates when it came time to hit the gym. Now I am facing a winter season where I'm flying solo for the most part again. This undertaking has led me to consider how winter break shapes the individual.

While there are multiple ways to think about how winter affects us (strength training, injury recovery, etc),  I think that the independent perseverance that winter training relies on is hard to ignore. The autonomy that we (ideally) foster during the "pre-season" can pay significant dividends later. As non-varsity college athletes, we all have different schedules and don't have the luxury of meeting up with each other 5 to 6 days a week . Therefore, at least part of our training relies on our own ability to initiate action. Winter is a chance to build this skill. If we, as players, can successfully put in the solo time while not at school, then it will come naturally when we need to function semi-independently in the spring.  In past years I have thought about my winter training as a physical preparation for the coming season, but the ability to mentally prepare is becoming more apparent to me this year.

Just a thought that's been in my head as the winter begins. Happy holidays.

- GB

Spring Tournaments

We've started making our Spring Schedule, and it looks like we'll be getting some great competition in early and often. In addition to our regular practice and workout schedule, we have a few tournaments lined up.

  • February 11-12 - Queen City Tune Up in Charlotte, NC
  • March 17-18 - Centex in Austin, TX
  • March 23-25 - Easterns in Wilmington, NC

After that, we'll probably play in one local tournament (eg. Yale Cup, New England Open) and then we'll have the series. Get psyched Tufts, it's going to be a fun season.


Getting Huge

This morning, 19 E-men went over to Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Haverhill, MA to work with the legendary Tim Morrill. After some brief introductions and talking about ultimate training, we got into warm ups. A bit of foam rolling and a few plyos later, and we began to hit the weights. We learned some basics about cleans, and listened to some killer jams while practicing form, until nearly everyone could set up when Tim shouted out. Next up, single leg squats, all together. We had learned this one before thanks to DH and JTT, but getting that low was a bit of a shock to the system for us all. For our final sets, we did two tri-sets of three workouts, with everyone working hard to get their swell on. Once we finished that, Tim had a bit of a treat for us, as we plowed through the gym with sleds, going for speed and for power. It was nearly everyone's favorite part of the day, and though one team won the race, everyone won for fun.

After the sleds, we talked a bit more, thanked Tim for his help, and gave him a dank fresh new disc. If I were a betting man, I'd wager on us seeing quite a bit more of him this upcoming season, as we try to increase the athleticism of the team. Big up to Tim and his ultimate workouts; you all should check out his facebook, twitter, or youtube to see some of the stuff we did. The dude's an expert, and it was awesome working with him. Quite the day to see the squids in the weight room, but it was awesome working out with the other dudes who are psyched for the upcoming season.


Emen 2012

Fall semester is coming to an end, which means that the hard work is beginning for the 2012 Emen. Winter is always a grind in New England, but it just makes it all the more sweet when we finally get outside. Follow all of our activity here and at Tuftsemen.org. It's gonna be one hell of a ride.

Emen 2012
Adrian Banerji
Alex Cooper
Jack Hatchett 
Sam K-S
Piers Macnaughton
Lloyd Olson
Matt Taylor
Eric Wilburn
Josh Adler
Nick Adolph
Gene Buonaccorsi
Nino Figliola
Robby Perkins-High
Cenzo Vitiello
Sam Dushay
Mike Hagenow
Gavin Murphy
Dan Pavitt
Eric Shaw
Will Wong
Tyler Chan
Carter Thallon