Dartmouth’s men’s ultimate frisbee team made history this season, winning the New England open regional tournament for the first time. The victory punched the team’s ticket to the national tournament, where Dartmouth will make its second appearance in the history of the program.
According to captain Watson Sallay ‘08, this year’s team is the best he has seen in his four years at Dartmouth, both on and off the field.
“In terms of on paper, this is the best team that Dartmouth has ever had, because this is the first team ever to win regionals,” Sallay said. “We went to nationals for the first time five years ago, but that was when there were three spots, so winning regionals was really special. Off the field, this has been the best team ever in terms of becoming friends and teammates with each other on and off the field. It’s a special feeling knowing that 20 of your best friends are also your teammates.”
In addition to a number of returning upperclassmen, this season saw the addition of key players Misha Sidorsky ‘10, who transferred to Dartmouth from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst this year, and Carson Thomas, a graduate student who formerly played for Carleton College. In ultimate frisbee, players are granted five years of eligibility, which makes it possible for graduate students to compete.
Surprisingly, Carleton College, a small liberal arts college in Northfield, Minn., is an ultimate frisbee powerhouse. Carleton, currently ranked third in the nation, also qualified for this year’s national tournament.
“People would like to play Carleton, because that’s a school where we have a guy on the team that is close and connected with the team there,” Sallay said. “However, there’s not really one particular team we’re looking for.”
Dartmouth also received significant on field contributions from sophomores Graham Baecher ‘10 and Alex Kell ‘10.
“We had a lot of guys put in a lot of work, especially the [sophomore] class, who stepped up their play and ended up as huge contributors,” Sallay said.