Women’s Ultimate Hosts First-Ever Home Tournament

Women's Ultimate Hosts First-Ever Home Tournament

For the first time in the team’s relatively short history, Aletheia, the women’s faction of Connecticut College’s Disc Club, hosted an intercollegiate tournament on April 8. While other teams finished with better records by the end of the day, the tournament marked a milestone for the rapidly-growing Aletheia, whose name is Greek for “truth.” Taking place on the sloped lawn between Palmer and Rte. 32, this was the team’s first-ever opportunity to host a home tournament.

“Everybody was really excited and supportive of each other,” said MacKenzie Orcutt ’19, a new member of the team. “We’ve had a few away tournaments in the past, but not a lot of people have been able to make it to those. Everyone was here this time, and we had some alumni and members of the guys’ team come out to support us as well.”

Playing against Central Connecticut State University, Tufts University and the University of Connecticut before facing off against their own alumni, the team consistently improved throughout the tournament.

“We probably lost more than we wanted to, but it’s all a learning process,” said Katherine Cook ’19, also in her first year on the team. “I believe we got more points each game and played better as the day progressed. Overall, it was a great learning process, so [the tournament] was successful in that aspect.”

Just from observing a few minutes of a game, the camaraderie within the organization became evident.

“In our last game before the alumni game, we had a really nice flow going. It made me realize how much chemistry our team has,” said Cook, who described the frisbee community as “fantastic” and “fun to be around.”

In fact, this team is among the largest that Aletheia has ever had, with upwards of fourteen players regularly participating in games and practices, according to Orcutt. She echoed Cook’s statement, saying that the highlight of her eight-month experience on the team has, without a doubt, been the friendships she’s made.

“Until this year, the women’s team would practice with the men’s team,” Cook said. “This year, we’ve kind of split off and practiced as our own team. It gets stronger with more members every year.”

However, despite a large amount of support from the College’s ultimate community and alumni, the tournament took place on two unconventional fields instead of on Conn’s ever-popular Tempel Green. Games were held on Williams Field, nestled behind Cummings Arts Center and between the gatehouse and the Williams School, and on Chapel Green behind Knowlton and Harkness houses.

“Administration said that it was too wet on the day of the tournament from the rain a couple of days before,” said Cook. Orcutt added, “It had to do with the administration not wanting us to mess [Tempel Green] up with our cleats.”

“It’s frustrating,” remarked Alice Gold ’20, “that when our men’s team had their home tournament in the fall, the administration allowed them to use Tempel Green. It’s not just that those fields are better, but they’re more centrally located.” Regarding the explanation offered about the rain,  Eleanor Knauss ’18 said, “I don’t buy it.” She clarified that she believed the decision was made to preserve the fields on Tempel Green, but that she doubted the rain had occurred recently enough to have significantly altered conditions.

“It just goes to show that we still have work to do regarding gender equality in sports,” Knauss added, wondering if the men’s team would have similarly been relocated.

Frustrations with field location aside, this was a banner day for Aletheia. A sense of team unity surrounded by supporters created a fantastic environment for the team’s first home tournament, just one week out from the first round of the national tournament.

“We’ll be in New Jersey for sectionals the weekend of the 14th,” said Orcutt. “If we qualify after sectionals, we’ll go to regionals the following weekend, and if we move on from there, it’ll be nationals [shortly thereafter]. We’re being hopeful about it, but right now we’re just taking this one step at a time.”

Since the home tournament, Alethia has participated in the first round of the national tournament, or “sectionals,” as Orcutt noted. This year, they will not move on to the regional phase of the tournament, but members of the team maintain an understanding that the team is a work in progress, with their first home tournament marking an initial step.

For Aletheia, that first step is monumental.