Flying Horsecows Go Down South, Fall Just Short

Bronwen Schumacher

This spring break, the Ultimate Frisbee team ventured south to play in two different tournaments. The team headed into the week with an 11–7 record, and had high expectations given its strong season last year. Last spring, the Flying Horsecows placed fourth at sectionals, and headed into regionals, where they lost in the quarterfinals to Lehigh University by a score of 12–14.

On the first weekend of break, the Horsecows played in Myrtle Beach, SC, in Division-III Easterns. They played SUNY-Geneseo, Middle­bury College, UNC Wilmington, UNC Asheville, North Park University, Davidson College and Brandeis University. Oberlin left the tournament with a winning record of 5–3, but got knocked out by Brandeis, finishing sixth overall.

“Going in, these were both tournaments we wanted to win, and we clearly came up short,” junior Alex Abramowitz said. “The first weekend we lost a couple very close games, but we were also short some guys, so we were all very gassed during the knockout games.”

Senior Nikhil Kalathil agreed. “We expected to do better than we actually did,” he said. “On the first day, we had a few injuries that ended up hurting us pretty badly. On the second day, we were fielding a team of 11 healthy dudes, which was not quite enough to compete at the level we wanted to.”

The second tournament, Freaknik 2014, was in Atlanta, GA. The Horsecows faced the College of Charleston, Spring Hill College, Georgia Institute of Technology, Vanderbilt University, Auburn University, Georgia State University and its B team. The Horsecows finished in second place in the tournament, losing to Georgia State 11–12 in a sudden death game. They left the tournament with a winning record of 5–2.

“The second weekend was good, but we didn’t really bring it 100 percent,” Abramowitz said. “We still had enough to make it to the finals, but we ended up losing on ‘universe-point.’ We were going upwind and Georgia State was going downwind, so they had a very real advantage, but all the same, that was a tournament we should have won.”

Although the Horsecows expected to return home with a better record, the team is still confident about its upcoming tournaments.

“I think everyone came back from the weekend motivated to do better,” Kalathil said. “It has been frustrating because we have not been able to play on North Fields, which is what we need more than anything, but we have sectionals next week and regionals in two weeks to prepare for.”

Though the team was ultimately unsatisfied with its results from the trip, the week was still a positive experience and a great opportunity to build team chemistry.

“The spring break trip is always great and kind of crazy,” said junior Mike Plotz. “During the week we stay at a lake house in Georgia with the women’s team. Knowing your teammates off the field really helps with on-the-field play. You develop a personal relationship with people and know what to expect from them.”

The Horsecows play in the Ohio Valley Region, which currently has four teams in the top 16 national spots, including the Horsecows, who are currently ranked No. 13. If the region continues to have four teams in the top 16, the four top finishers can head to national championships.

On April 12, the Flying Horsecows will travel to Versailles, Ohio, for sectionals, where they will face Kenyon College, Xavier University, Denison University, Ohio Wesleyan University, The College of Wooster, Ohio Northern University and John Carroll University.