With rain, wind and threats of Earth-shattering thunderstorms, Eclipse Women’s Ultimate Frisbee handily beat their competition and took first place in the Regional Championships, earning a bid for D-III Nationals.
As the 2011 defending Nationals Champions, Eclipse knew that they had a large target hanging on their backs this weekend; however, they were not fazed in the slightest by the competition and came away with a 6-0 record throughout the weekend.
Eclipse’s first game against Drake University was intense, with each team going on successive runs. However, through strong defense and fervent disc movement, Eclipse managed to pull out an 11-8 win over Drake.
They then finished off the day by winning the three consecutive games against Macalester, Luther and Carleton’s Nova, advancing them to the semifinals on Sunday. When reflecting on Saturday’s games, junior captain Katie Claiborne ‘13 said that Eclipse “kept teams guessing with a bunch of different offenses and defenses—we call this our ‘tool-kit.’”
After a tremendous storm Saturday night, Eclipse showed up to the fields on Sunday to play their neighbors across the river, St. Olaf. Eclipse quickly scored four successive points, and their energy and intensity both on and off the field was undeniably present throughout the game. “We weren’t that fazed that Eclipse scored the first point,” said St. Olaf captain Erin Curme ’12, “but when we saw and heard their whole team cheering and running onto the field, we were like ‘oh no, this is going to be rough.’” And rough it was, as Eclipse took the game with a 13-3 victory. “It was the best frisbee we played all year,” said junior Mia Borden ’13. “Our hands were solid, and our defense was aggressive.”
Eclipse then met Grinnell for the championship game. Ranked second in the region and sixteenth in the Nation for D-III girls Ultimate, Grinnell appeared threatening, but Eclipse fortunately brought the same fire as they had against St. Olaf. Eclipse took the first two points, and Grinnell the third making the score 2-1. As the game went on, Eclipse was also able to adapt to the tough defense of their opponent, isolating Grinnell’s top player, and taking the score to 5-1.
Although Grinnell answered back with another point, Eclipse’s sheer athleticism, sideline and energy drove them and for the rest of the game, while Grinnell remained scoreless. As freshman Molly Burness ’15 said, even with a final score of 13-2, “every point was a battle, but quite frankly, we were awesome and pulled through.” With this win, Eclipse won their region.
“We did not win this weekend because of a few players,” said Lydia English ’13. “We don’t have all-stars. Instead we have a deep team, which is so dangerous because none of our opponents have 22 players that could step in at any time and play at the same pace.”
Eclipse will be appearing at D-III Nationals tournament in Appleton, Wisconsin on 8th weekend as the defending national champions. Until then, this young, talented team will be practicing, scrimmaging, and most of all, having fun. As senior Colette Meller ’12 phrased it, “That’s really what Eclipse is all about. We like to play hard and work hard, but most of all we laugh, and have a really, really good time.”
To follow along with Eclipse at D-III Nationals in Appleton, Wisconsin go to their twitter sight at <http://twitter.com/#!/eclipsethedisc>.