History: 2001 – 2002 Season

Regular Season Record: 8-16
Series Record: 2-4
End of Season Standing: Tied for 7th at West Penn Sectionals, eliminated in quarterfinals (2-12 by Bucknell)

We started this season with only three veterans: Brody, Phil, and Dan. Under the captainship of Phil Katz and stewardship of Dan Perry, the 2001-2002 season saw the influx of many new players, including a few English majors who do things like write histories of more than a few words. Some of these players had played before, and some of them hadn’t, but almost all of them expressed a desire to build Pitt Ultimate and En Sabah Nur to a nationally competitive level. It was the beginning of a refreshing era and ensured that competitive Ultimate Frisbee would not die out at Pitt. They brought new ideas, new ways of doing things, and new personality to the club. They ambitiously went to tournaments over almost every weekend in the Spring, overcoming all obstacles, and played their hearts out. Over the year, they went to tournaments in Edinboro (thrice), Baltimore, Gettysburg (twice), Philadelphia, and Lancaster, just to name a few. Several players even organized trips to Hat Tournaments during the off weekends. Most importantly, the incoming class came in with full knowledge of how to juxtapose Intensity with Spirit of the Game and began to build En Sabah Nur’s reputation as being both formidable opponents and fun people to play against. Long live Pitt Ultimate!!

Roster:

Freshmen
Billy Merrill
Ed Schneider
Jon Madden
Jon McCarthy
# 22 Mike LoPresti
Mike Yanchak
Oliver Gibbon
# 37 Rich Coker
Rich Derbis
# 2 Sean McComb
Sophomores
Juniors
# 7 Dan Perry
Seniors
# 4 Phillip Katz*
5th Year/Grad
# 27 Jay Paulonis
# 1 William Brotman
* denotes team captain

Tournaments:

1st Annual Skylander: Edinboro, PA – September 22nd – 23rd, 2001
CFCC Round 1: Edinboro, PA – October 10th, 2001
CFCC Round 2: Gettysburg, PA – November 1st, 2001
Huck of the Irish: Baltimore, MD – March 16th – 17th, 2002
What the Funk?!?: Gettysburg, PA – March 23rd – 24th, 2002
Layout Pigout: Haverford College, PA – March 30th – 31st, 2002
Hucking in an Amish Paradise: Lancaster, PA – April 6th – 7th, 2002
West Penn Sectionals: Gettysburg, PA – April 20th – 21st, 2002


1st Annual Skylander: Edinboro, PA – September 22nd – 23rd, 2001

We played with Pansy (the Pitt/CMU women’s team) and won the Haggis award, which means we don’t go down easy. We had to win the B pool to win the Haggis award. We played 6 games and went 3-3 overall.

Pool Play (1-2)

Edinboro 15 – Pittsburgh 0

Carnegie Mellon 15 – Pittsburgh 7
Pittsburgh 14 – Dickinson 8

Championship Bracket (0-1)

Quarterfinal: Allegheny 7 – Pittsburgh 6

Chumpionship Bracket (2-0)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 11 – Dickinson 7

Final: Pittsburgh 12 – Manchester Climax 7


CFCC Round 1: Edinboro, PA – October 10th, 2001

It rained, hailed, snowed, and was sunny all in the same 8 hour period. It was absolutely ridiculous. This is the first time we ever saw someone play ultimate in a trench coat because it was so cold. Edinboro in October, what do you expect? En Sabah Nur was represented by 8 players: Brody, Dan Perry, Fraggle, Jay Paulonis, Oliver Gibbon, Phil Katz, Rich Derbis and Sean McComb.

Round Robin (1-1)

Edinboro W – Pittsburgh L

Pittsburgh W – Pittsburgh-Johnstown L


CFCC Round 2: Gettysburg, PA – November 1st, 2001

We were in Gettysburg and it was cold and windy, what a surprise. Maybe we need to start competing in the south more. Can’t remember who we played, but we had great lodging at Oliver’s house. Thanks, Oliver! We sent 9 players: Billy Merrill, Brody, Ed Schneider, Fraggle, Oliver Gibbon, Mike LoPresti, Mike Yanchak, Rich Derbis, and Sean McComb.

Championship Bracket (2-1)

Prequarterfinal: Pittsburgh 10 – Pangalatic Gargleblaster (CMU/Pansy) 8

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Autobots (William-Jefferson) 3
Semifinal: Grove City/Ithaca 15 – Pittsburgh 9

3rd Place Bracket (0-1)

Final: Gettysburg 8 – Pittsburgh 2


Huck of the Irish: Baltimore, MD – March 16th – 17th, 2002

This weekend nine of your Pitt brethren traveled 250 miles to Towson, Maryland to compete in “The Huck of the Irish” with 15 other college teams. Despite few subs, cold air, and gusting wind, this bunch managed to turn in a very strong performance.

This was a solid tournament for us, we freshmen who went got some excellent experience and grew a lot as players: Ed came up huge hauling down hucks and playing hot D, Fraggle was laying out left and right and leaving it all on the field, Mike LoPresti was a man possessed against Buffalo, I throw things. The veterans continued to lead us well and we really congealed as a team. As a whole we played with very good teams and played well against them. but as Brody put it “the difference between a good team and a great team is finishing games” and we didn’t do that for most of the tournament. But we now know what we need to work on and how we need to get better. But it will take a lot more than just the nine of us to get it done, we need to see you everybody get out to practice.

Pool Play (1-3)

Towson 14 – Pittsburgh 12 recap

James Madison 14 – Pittsburgh 12 recap
Carnegie Mellon 9 – Pittsburgh 6 recap
Pittsburgh 14 – SUNY-Buffalo 13 recap

Championship Bracket (0-1)

Quarterfinal: SUNY-Buffalo 13 – Pittsburgh 4 recap

Pool Play: Towson
An Errant Hammer Kissed by Irish Luck We got off to an uncharacteristically strong start behind the solid play of Brody and Phil Katz. Pitt took a 7-4 lead into the half. Coming out of half, Towson threw on a zone defense. Under the pressure of a zone, which many of us haven’t played against in some time, Towson leveled the game at 10-10. Finally we got things together again and through excellent handling and great play from the mids we regained a 12-10 advantage (game to 13). But we couldn’t finish it off, Towson went ahead 13-12 and on the final point threw a hammer intended for a player at the front corner of the end zone floated to the back where it was complete, ending the game 14-12.

Pool Play: James Madison
Let the Hellfish Off the Hook Following the crushing loss to Towson we had to gather our bearings and take on the first seed in our pool.
Again we came out very strong making great throws and getting layout D’s. Pitt took a 7-6 lead into the half.
In the second half the two teams battled, both giving it everything they had. Despite giving 100 percent for the entire half
we simply got out-played by a hair in the second half and once again fell in a heartbreaker 14-12. There were a lot of
pluses to take out of this game. Pitt improved their play against a zone defense even more than we had against Towson.
We went up against a team that consistently goes to regionals and we took them to the wire in a game we were literally a
foot away from winning.

Pool Play: Carnegie Mellon
254 miles when we could have gone 1 As our luck seems to have we once again got to play with the people with the team we can play…well…almost anytime. Coming off of two tough losses and with only two subs we sucked it up and took the field. A hard fought game throughout, we still had something left in the tank, but in the end it just wasn’t enough…we fell 9-6 in a tight defensive struggle. This game was a story of missed opportunities as we had a number of chances to get easy scores and failed to do so.

Pool Play: SUNY-Buffalo
Mike LoPresti’s break out performance As dusk approached and our spirits seemed to sink along with the sun, we were able to muster enough heart to pull out a tough victory. This was a rough game between two athletic teams. For the final point we were forced to go upwind, and due to a tight zone D from Buffalo and our lack of legs due to it being our 94th point of the day we had to punt a lot. But finally, Phil Katz once again led us by example as he sprinted the length of the field to catch the winning throw, a clutch and beautiful put from Brody. But the story of the game was the defense of Mike LoPresti, who came up with huge D after D from his short deep position in the zone defense and caught pass after pass…mike showed everyone what he can do out on the field and was a huge part of the 14-13 win.

Quarterfinal: SUNY-Buffalo
Is This Maryland or Edinboro? When we got to the fields Sunday morning temperatures were well below freezing, its hard to tell if we were simply frozen, or our hearts weren’t into the game but we were definitely not all there. Though we ran hard, we were always a foot or two away: from a completed pass, the perfect cut, or a score. Buffalo took the win to the tune of something like 13-6, and would go on to win the Losers Bracket. It was a sour note to end the tournament on, but it was a sour day.


What the Funk?!?: Gettysburg, PA – March 23rd – 24th, 2002

10 Open college teams ultimate ex-funking-travaganza!

Pool Play (1-3)

Susquehanna 9 – Pittsburgh 6

Pittsburgh W – Middlebury B L
Delaware 10 – Pittsburgh 3
Gettysburg 10 – Pittsburgh 7

Championship Bracket (1-1)

Prequarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Pittsburgh-Johnstown 6

Quarterfinal: Susquehanna 15 – Pittsburgh 5

5th Place Bracket (0-1)

Semifinal: New York University B 15 – Pittsburgh 1


Layout Pigout: Haverford College, PA – March 30th – 31st, 2002

This was a really good tournament with 20 Open and 15 women’s college teams, and top to bottom was the hardest we’ll play all semester. After a long ride home on Sunday and some Sabarro’s we found our tired bodies at home, asleep in Pittsburgh around 11-11:30. It was a long weekend, but definitely a fun one, the fields were beautiful on Saturday and we couldn’t have asked for anything more weather-wise on Saturday. This tournament was a ton of fun, and we may have even more this coming weekend (and a lot more wins) try to make it out.

Pool Play (0-4)

Rutgers 13 – Pittsburgh 11 recap

Penn State 13 – Pittsburgh 5 recap
Lehigh 14 – Pittsburgh 12 recap
New York University 13 – Pittsburgh 8 recap

Chumpionship Bracket (1-1)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 9 – Vassar 6 recap

Final: American 13 – Pittsburgh 5 recap

Pool Play: Rutgers
This game started out with a ton of offense and very little defense from both teams. Both teams worked their flow offenses up the fields and we traded scores. Eventually we found ourselves down one point at half with them pulling to us. The second half began markedly similar to the first as both teams were evenly matched. As things came down to the wire we lost our grasp on the game and once again suffered a close defeat.

Pool Play: Penn State
This game was, well, interesting. The rookies: myself, Fraggle, Jon McCarthy and Yanchak were all introduced to the spirit of the game glory that is Penn State Spank. None the less, this game was a good learning experience for us, because after all the non-ultimate that played far too large a role in this game, Penn State is solid team that runs hard, plays great man defense and has good throws. They showed us some things that our young team can learn….and down the road beat them with. I want it, do you guys?

Pool Play: Lehigh
Lehigh was a team featuring one really good handler and three solid receivers/ secondary handlers (and a really impressive freestyling coach). They got lucky by just catching a few punts out of their own end of the field, and we had some trouble breaking their zone towards the end of the game. But the story of the spring continued to be not closing games as we let another late lead slip away in this game. But at the same time, throughout the last three tournaments (Towson, Gettysburg and now Haverford) we have been putting ourselves in a situation to win these games…we were three points from being 4-0 on the first day at Towson and two or three from being 2-2 at Haverford. Execution will get us those points.

Pool Play: New York University
In a consolation at Gettysburg we played what basically amounted to NYU’s B team, its was a consolation game, and we had some injury’s, but we lost that game 15-1. This weekend they had their A team, and we simply played the way that we normally do. And while that means that we made this game a lot closer, it also means that we unfortunately gave the disc away too often and they took advantage of that. But this improvement helps to demonstrate the patience that we have come to use (at least at times) and this tournament we were more patient overall than usually (at least on Saturday =) )

Semifinal: Vassar
After enduring a rain delay, field switch and a bye, we eventually went on to play Vassar College. Despite the cold and the rain we played some pretty hot O and D. Fraggle took a backhand to the jaw to prevent a huck, Phil Katz ran his tail all over the field and Brody….well, he gave him the disc. This win just felt good, Vassar was a pretty solid team and had some hot layouts, they by no means gave us this game, we won it, it was a good win.

Final: American
This was the final of the chumpionship. We had to sit through another bye and another field change but came into the game and played with American to a 2-2 start. However, eventually our zone O broke down and only fixed itself for a few points. I learned many things about zone O, particularly what not to do during that game, and it will serve me well, and I think it was a learning experience for all of us.


Hucking in an Amish Paradise: Lancaster, PA – April 6th – 7th, 2002

This weekend twenty coed teams visited the home of rolling cow pastures, shoefly pie, and the Hucking Amish of Franklin and Marshall College all for a chance to win the GOLDEN PITCHFORK.

We stuck around to watch the finals, and Edinboro go on to win the Golden Pitchfork. We then ate with Edinboro, treating them to some special cup of “moon pie.” All and all it was an excellent tournament, though we did not tote a pitchfork with us upon our return. Once again, us youngins played well, especially Jon McCarthy, Mike LoPresti and Jon Madden who have really started to prove themselves as solid receivers. And of course the charge was led by Fraggle, Brody, Phill and Whitey who played so well it was as if he were playing for a meat prize. But, as we all know, we couldn’t have won anything without April, Fay and Rachel who aside from dominating the Phuel game, came up with huge plays throughout the tournament and got open for passes at will. And now for the all important and newest segment to come to your tournament summary, the “What did Sean learn this weekend” segment.

This Weekend Sean Learned:
1) If you attack Brody prepare to be stuck in the leg-lock of death.
2) Avoid throwing the disc within ten feet of the red headed kid on Edinboro (Justin Lander aka J. Rock)
3) Kicking people to see if they are awake is largely unacceptable to our society (ridiculous, no?)
4) Just because you go to a Scottish university and play for a Scottish frisbee team, that doesn’t mean that everyone wants to see your junk. Please Haggis wear some undergarments, for the love of God.

Pool Play (4-1)

Pittsburgh 13 – Goucher 2 recap

Pittsburgh 13 – Melee (Phuel) 10 recap
Adult Flick 13 – Pittsburgh 10 recap
Pittsburgh 4 – Ithaca 1 recap
Pittsburgh 8 – Ithaca 5 recap

Championship Bracket (1-1)

Semifinal: Edinboro 13 – Pittsburgh 4 recap

Final: Pittsburgh 13 – Franklin & Marshall 6 recap

Pool Play: Goucher
We arrived at the fields on time for a change, and began warming up. We were then informed that we weren’t playing at those fields, as most of the other teams were, but were going to a nearby park. We arrived at said park to meet our first opponents, the Goucher Botero. Goucher is a first year team, and for all their great efforts on defense and good intentions, threw a few too many ill-advised hammers, and didn’t handle our zone defense very well. This proved to be an easy game, but allowed everyone to see some good playing time.

Pool Play: Melee (Phuel)
Phuel “Melee” was a group of mainly 2001 high school graduates who played in the Philadelphia Area Ultimate Educational League, combined with some players from Alfred College in New York. This game started very well, by playing patiently and utilizing our skill and speed advantage with the women we took the half with a 7-2 lead. But somehow, someway, that five minute break managed to squelch our momentum. We took the first, long…long, point of the second half, but then Melee started to have things go their way. During this run, there were a number of follies: two dropped discs were called catches and goals by melee, a score checking debacle resulted in melee gaining yet another point despite Jon Madden knowing the real deal, and Yanchak, while completing a “fat-man-score” did not check his own feet, threw the disc and missed the return pass to his dismay and ” =-O ” expression. However, by returning to the bread for our butter (Fay, April, and Rachel) we were able finally pull away and secure the 13-10 (or 13-7, but who’s counting) victory.

Pool Play: Adult Flick
Adult Hicks, err, Flicks…yeah, that’s it This game started off in quite the opposite way from the Phuel game. Haystorm-esque winds blew in from one end of the field, bringing the lovely scent of fresh manure along with it. The Adult Flicks are a Co-ed Club team out of Harrisburg, and their organization, especially in the zone defense proved formidable early. However, our speed and huck offense as well as good man defense brought us right back into the thick of things, and we found ourselves tied at 9-9.. But in the end, we just didn’t have the juice and the Flicks pulled away for the 13-10 victory. After the game we received what was probably the best cheer during a weekend in which we received many a lackluster cheer. The feature of the cheer was passing around two large bottles of Yuengling. The spirit brew saw even the non-drinkers on the team taking a swig or two and was even deemed by Mike LoPresti to be “drinkable”. The beer was certainly drinkable for Yanchak who managed to down a good 16-20oz. in my estimation before spitting the final ounce or so all over Fraggle and I, though I suppose I was asking for it by patting his belly during the chugfest.

Pool Play: Ithaca
The tournament was well behind schedule as we completed our third round game. However, we were quite happy to take our bye in the spacious, warm and comfortable Brotman mobile (which we should really give a good name to, if it doesn’t already have one that I am unaware of). During the bye we feasted on pizza, subs and lasagna provided by F&M, however, as we emerged from the van, to Jays delight, the sun was well on its way to being set. However, with Ithaca unwilling to just forfeit and make all our lives easier, we were forced to play. We went down 0-1 early, but our superior intake of vitamin E allowed us to fight off the darkness and real off four straight points. At the culmination of the fourth point the Nawshans stormed off the field in disgust. They demanded that the game be called for the night, and it be completed in the morn’. However, we, in our bull-headed nature (the charge led by Brody of course) refused and insisted that we finish that night. However, our push over captain, charmed by the Ithacan captains’ allures and feminine wiles was persuaded to conclude the game in the morning.

Pool Play: Ithaca
As predicted, finishing the game on day two was bad for us. We played on quite the slanted field and got off to a not so hot start, allowing Ithaca to get the first two scores, closing the lead to 4-3. However, your faithful president and mine, Fraggle, made an all-out hustle play that turned the game around for us, as a huck was tipped and floating for the back line of the end zone, he layed out and hauled that sucker down, to re-establish our two point lead. From there on out we started playing decently and took the win.

Semifinal: Edinboro
As much as I would like to forget this game in its entirety, I can’t. We were forced to play against the dreaded Edinboro zone, at least dreaded for me, and despite me flowery and bright colored handling visor, two of my passes were stopped by the long arm of the law, well “J.Rock’s” long arms at least (one for a near Callahan). It was just one of those games for us, we didn’t catch the disc cleanly and I know at least one of us who couldn’t make the right decisions or throws (oh, that’s me by the way). This game was sort of a wake up call for us, reminded us that we do have a lot to work on with the zone offense, and until then, teams with good zone D’s like Edinboro will be more than willing to slap it on and keep it there until we can prove ourselves against it.

Final: Franklin & Marshall
For our consolation game we faced the home team, Franklin and Marshall. They seemed to rely on the huck, which simply meant that Brody could really rack up the D’s. We threw on a zone defense that seemed to simply encourage some impatience on their part. Offensively, the story, late in the game was Jon Madden, who scored our final three goals. At this point you may be wondering, How did he do that?? I’ll tell you. They couldn’t stop his Robin Hood shit. That’s right, Jon came on to the field and told us that they couldn’t, he then went on to dominate, Robin Hood style. Even the cup-o-sauraus was no match for Jon Madden, and he was completely unphased by the TD’s near nakedness. Let all the teams nationwide be warned: You can’t stop Jon Madden’s Robin Hood shit.


West Penn Sectionals: Gettysburg, PA – April 20th – 21st, 2002

This was the first round of the national series. Ten teams from western Pennsylvania showed up to strut their stuff. We ended up tied for 7th with Carnegie Mellon. Penn State, Bucknell, and Edinboro qualified for regionals. On the whole, though the tournament was disappointing, I believe that a good time was had by all and McYanchak broke off some especially impressive cheers for us this weekend. Thanks to all who attended and have made coming out to tournaments a weekly habit.

This Weekend Sean Learned:
1) When catching a disc for a D above a crowd of people, immediately bring the disc down to protect your face. Otherwise, someone aimlessly flailing at the air above their heads may decide to hit you square on the nose.
2) When throwing the disc, there is a better chance of it reaching the other persons chest when it starts vertically closer to their chest, seeing as how you’re fighting gravity and all
3) When D-ing an errant pass, feel free to catch the disc so as to not hit it right to another player who will proceed to throw it for a score
4) Our team has a long way to go before we are able to make it to regionals, three and a half places to be exact, and the work in getting there doesn’t start in the spring, it doesn’t start in the fall, it starts when we get home for break…with each dedicated player making a decision about whether they want to get out and play summer league, and condition and get faster and have more endurance and improve their throws, and then work with everyone else on the team in the fall to continue our gelling as a team, with everyone of its components a better cog in the machine.

Pool Play (1-3)

Penn State 13 – Pittsburgh 3 recap

Gettysburg 14 – Pittsburgh 12 recap
Carnegie Mellon 13 – Pittsburgh 4 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Bucknell B 5 recap

Championship Bracket (1-1)

Prequarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Shippensburg 8 recap

Quarterfinal: Bucknell 12 – Pittsburgh 2 recap

Pool Play: Penn State
Though the score would lead you to believe we got romped on, and clearly the game could not have been too much of a nail biter, we played a very solid first half. PSU did not just get quick three throw scores, but had to slowly work the frisbee up the field, and we got a number of looks at the end zone. The difference was their execution and our lack of it. There’s a lot we can learn from a team that runs such an orderly and disciplined offense, and the disparity in execution showed us that.

Pool Play: Gettysburg
Our second game was against Gettysburg, we were warming up poorly and we played poorly. Gettysburg took the half at 7-2. In the second half we made one heck of a comeback, we went on a 10-5 run that tied the game at 12-12. However, at the end Gettysburg came up with the next two points, and took it 14-12 in the final. This loss hurt particularly badly because we knew that in order to avoid playing a one-seed until the semifinals on Sunday, we would have to win this game…but we didn’t come out strong, and it hurt us in the end.

Pool Play: Carnegie Mellon
CMU brought a really strong team to this tournament, and as we were coming off of such a tough loss and a bye round to think about it, we had really lost any wind that was in our sails. CMU played well and deserved to beat us, we weren’t playing good frisbee by this point.

Pool Play: Bucknell B
We were able to fight off being donuted by handily beating Bucknell B. We played very very well at points in this game and had good flow and were able to move the frisbee well, we also played tight D and came up with a lot of turnover, unfortunately the momentum didn’t help too much as it was the final game of Saturday’s pool play.

Prequarterfinal: Shippensburg
This was a wild card game to see who would get into the final 8 team tournament. Despite steady winds and biting cold, we got up wind points. Most of the thanks for this can go to Jonathan McCarthy who was a monster all game long, he caught upwards of 8 scores and threw for around three more. Jon was really killer this game, he made smart end zone cuts, good and smart throws and showed the rest of us freshman exactly how good we could each be when we just stick to doing that which we know we can do. I got hit in the face. It hurt.

Quarterfinal: Bucknell
We were unable to take the momentum of the two consecutive wins very far. Bucknell was a very athletic team who continually came up with big plays. Because they weren’t as organized or as disciplined as Penn State, if we learn to play as a cohesive unit and play as a team, we can take this game next year, but we will have to work for it.



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