History: 2002 – 2003 Season

Regular Season Record: 21-7
Series Record: 6-5
End of Season Standing: Tied for 13th at Metro East Regionals, eliminated in prequarterfinals (7-15 by Rochester)

We ended up ranked 122nd out of 272 teams according to the UPA rankings and managed to get more than 9 out to every tournament this year. It’s not quite a rebuilding year, but it is certainly the start of one. Also, remember no matter what you only need 7 to make it to regionals. We had a lot more at sectionals, but you only need 7. If you have 7 at practice, practice hard with those 7 and you will succeed.


# 16 Ben Ristau
# 10 Brent Bellinger
Carmen Parrotta
Dan DelPiano
Dan Pokrifka
John Thompson
Josh Baranowski
Tom Kirchner
# 0 Ed Schneider
# 22 Mike LoPresti
Mike Yanchak
# 37 Rich Coker
# 2 Sean McComb*
5th Year/Grad
# 4 Phillip Katz*
# 1 William Brotman
* denotes team captain


1st Annual Rookie Game: CMU, Pittsburgh – August 31st, 2002
Fall Phling: Penn State University, PA – September 7th – 8th, 2002
Hillbilly Ho-down: WVU, Morgantown, WV – October 5th, 2002
Game against Duquesne: Pittsburgh, PA – January 17th, 2003
Snoltimate: Edinboro, PA – February 22nd, 2003
16th Annual Mardi Gras: Baton Rouge, PA – March 1st – 2nd, 2003
WUFF Training Camp: Wilmington, NC – March 3rd – 7th, 2003
Huck of the Irish: Salisbury, MD – March 15th – 16th, 2003
Annual Joint Summit Classic: Clemson, SC – March 29th – 30th, 2003
Steakfest: Shippensburg, PA – April 5th – 6th, 2003
West Penn Sectionals: Edinboro, PA – April 19th – 20th, 2003
Metro East Regionals: Princeton, NJ – May 3rd – 4th, 2003

1st Annual Rookie Game: CMU, Pittsburgh – August 31st, 2002

This was our first couple games of the year. Our rookies played against Mr. Yuk’s rookies and then the veterans played a short game to 7.

Rookie Game (0-1)

Carnegie Mellon rookies 13 – Pittsburgh 10 recap

Veteran Game (0-1)

Carnegie Mellon veterans 7 – Pittsburgh 5 recap

Pool Play: Carnegie Mellon rookies
Our rookies came out patient and strong. After giving up the first point, they took the lead 4-1. CMU slowly came back with some hot plays and tied it up and then took half 7-6. We only had one rookie sub and it began to show in the second half where the Yuk rookies pulled away even more to win the game 13-10.

Pool Play: Carnegie Mellon veterans
The last time we played yuk was at sectionals last year in a 13-4 blowout. Over the summer a lot of our veterans played club or in summer league and it showed as we were able to hang tight with Mr. Yuk the entire game.

Fall Phling: Penn State University, PA – September 7th – 8th, 2002

This was our first tournament of the year and by the of day one with 5 vets and 7 rookies (Ben Ristau, Brody, Carmen Parrotta, Charles Chapman, Fraggle, Josh Baranowski, Mike LoPresti, Phil Katz, Sean McComb. Player stats) we had seen Pitt: tear through some zone defense, run a pretty successful four second dump offense, the rookies particularly (especially Charles and Carmen) sky player after player for D’s and scores, get the curse of the Lehigh monkey off our backs, and mount a huge comeback in the fourth game of a super hot day. Not too shabby. Also, one rookie, tall Ben, took a greyhound bus up to catch the 4th game because he didn’t wake up in time.

When we finished up early on Sunday (with CMU), both teams headed over to watch the lovely ladies of Pansy (the Pitt/CMU women’s team) play some ultimate. We got to watch three of their games, including their blowout win over Lehigh/Skidmore. We also got to head over to the PSU creamery for some tasty tasty ice cream and just generally enjoy a beautiful afternoon of ultimate. It was definitely an awesome weekend.

Team A:

Pool Play (2-2)

Syracuse 13 – Pittsburgh 10 recap

Pittsburgh 13 – Lehigh 12 recap
Pennsylvania 13 – Pittsburgh 7 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Penn State 9 recap

Elimination Bracket (0-1)

Rochester 11 – Pittsburgh 10 recap

Team rookies:

Elimination Bracket (0-1)

Carnegie Mellon rookies 7 – Pittsburgh-rookies 6 recap

Pool Play: Syracuse
This game was against a solid team, a team that went to regionals last year, and had no rookies at this tournament. However, we got out to a decent start and were down only 7-5 at the half. In the second half, we managed to even get the deficit to a single point, however, in the end we simply dropped too many discs and didn’t get back enough D’s too pull out the win. The final score read 13-10. In my mind, it was the veterans that lost us this game, just by simply having discs hit our hands and not catching them, and at times not having a proper dump, or not looking for the dump in time. However, the rookies made hot play after hot play, going up, over and between players to get the disc in the end zone.

Pool Play: Lehigh
Lehigh brought a really hot team to this tourney and it showed as we watched them knock off U. Penn during our bye. However, we were able to neutralize their main weapon, the huck, by keeping a good last back at the back of the stack and switching well. Our athleticism gave us an advantage in man defense and when Lehigh tried to throw a zone D, we absolutely torched it, walking the disc down the field by taking our dumps and swings and only throwing through the cup when they were late getting over. In the second half of the game, most of us lost track of the score, and those few who knew, wouldn’t tell anyone, so that we were consistently playing a game to one. So I really don’t know how the scoring went in the second half, but I do know that we won the real game 13-12. This was a big win for us because Pitt traditionally has a halftime lead against Lehigh, and then they manage to figure out something that we are doing and beat us when its all said and done, but not this time.

Pool Play: Pennsylvania
We knew the U. Penn game was going to be difficult from the beginning, coming off a draining one point win, playing in the heat of the day, and playing a team who just polished off a 13-3 win over PSU B/C. However, we stuck with Void in the opening points and we were even trading points with them. However, fatigue began to catch up with most of us (I know it did with me anyways) and Penn started to pull away. Early in the second half, Brody connected with Fraggle on consecutive scores to keep the game close, but eventually we couldn’t outrun Void’s suffocating man defense and they squeezed out the 13-7 win.

Pool Play: Penn State
This was game four, and the third in a row, and against the 5th seed in the Pool looking to get their first win against us. And throughout the first half, we were letting them walk all over us. We were getting beaten to the force side. We weren’t making smart throws. We weren’t making good in cuts. We were too busy expecting them to hand over the game to win it ourselves. So when halftime rolled around and we found ourselves down 7-3, Brody layed things out to us. He told us that we didn’t want to be there, and we didn’t want to win. The way we were playing, we really didn’t. He took his cleats off and he sat down and waited for us to show him that we wanted it. And this worked, halfway. The other half was provided by a somewhat unlikely source, perhaps, but certainly a capable one, as Mike Yanchak fired up every single player on the line with him for the rest of the game. We threw a monstrous zone defense, got many turnovers, and made great end zone cuts to finish off the scores. In all, we ran off seven of the next eight points and took a 10-8 lead…we went on to win 13-9 in what was probably the biggest comeback I have ever been involved in.

Pool Play: Rochester
When we took the field on Sunday, we were clearly not ready to play Ultimate. We handed the first four points of the game to Rochester. However, we did get on a role and close to 5-4, but went into halftime down a couple of goals. In the second half, we ran into a few physical problems, and by that I mean suntan lotion. Brody had the disc slip out of his hands a couple of times while throwing. I had a huck to Fraggle slip out of my hand and land short and I also dropped a wide open huck from Brody in the end zone. We went on to lose the game by one point. It was overall a disappointing finish, because there were so many plays That (I at least) could look back on and wonder about. The final score was 11-10.

Pool Play: Carnegie Mellon rookies
That’s right, we drove three hours and played five games to end up with Mr. Yuk. Since the veterans are all too used to playing one another, we decided to play a rookie half. The basic trend of the game, it seemed to me was this: If Pitt scored a goal, it was because we worked the disc down the field using our dumps wisely. If CMU scored a goal, it was usually because Pitt made a turnover in our own half of the field and they just took advantage of it. The game came down to 6-6, and we had the disc and for whatever reason our called play didn’t work out. Despite some solid defense, CMU scored a nice goal to win 7-6. However, Charles provided some highlight reel footage in the rookie game by throwing a good 45 yard flick huck down the line to Kevin cutting into the end zone, and by going over about 5 other players (Pitt and CMU) to bring down a disc. The rookies played a really hot game, and if we can just get all of you together to play those CMU rookies, I think you guys can definitely take them.

Hillbilly Ho-down: WVU, Morgantown, WV – October 5th, 2002

An intrepid group of nine (it was Club Regionals weekend) headed to WVU on October 5. The fields were on the top of a hill, so there was a good sized breeze the entire day. We hoped to play good ultimate and gain invaluable experience, especially for the four players at their first tournament. We got off to a rocky start, but everyone came up with some great plays and everyone had fun.

Round Robin (1-3)

The Fatherless Bastards 11 – Pittsburgh 0 recap

West Virginia 11 – Pittsburgh 6 recap
Edinboro 11 – Pittsburgh 6 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Goucher 5 recap

Pool Play: The Fatherless Bastards
We came out abysmally flat. It is true that this pick up team went on to win the tournament, but there is no excuse for being shut out.

Pool Play: West Virginia
We scored the first two points, and it looked like they were going to have trouble with our zone defense. They responded with their own zone and came back, taking half at 6-5 after a tough last point. The team that played the first game took the field for the second half, as we started to throw the disc away.

Pool Play: Edinboro
This was our first complete effort of the day. The score is not a good indicator of how we played; we were actually two closely matched teams. Edinboro’s zone offense was more patient than ours, and that was the difference in the game.

Pool Play: Goucher
We were pumped up for this game. We went out and took it over. Half was something like 7-2. We didn’t play as well in the second half. Goucher’s zone-o was basically 1 handler with 3 mids and 3 deeps, which led to us knocking a lot of discs down, but when they were able to sneak a 20 yarder through the cup, it led to a 3-on-1 or a 4-on-2 break for the score. Had they not dropped 2 or 3 scores, it would have been a lot closer. Still, this was a great win.

Game against Duquesne: Pittsburgh, PA – January 17th, 2003

This was our first game of the spring season. The start of something new perhaps. It was also Charles first game since his sabbatical. Welcome back, Charles! We won 15-6 or 7? There were hot plays everywhere by vets and rookies.

Pittsburgh 15 – Duquesne 6

Snoltimate: Edinboro, PA – February 22nd, 2003

10 club and college coed teams battling it out in a foot of snow of Northwestern Pennsylvania snow. What more could you ask for? In our 5 team pool, we had a 3-way tie for first place that was broken through point differential. Foot Clan claimed first in the pool and went on to place second in the tournament. CMU placed first. I think it is fortunate that we didn’t have to play the finals because it was wicked cold out and a number of us had to get back to Pittsburgh for our respective winter league games. The best part of the tournament has GOT to be the sauna and dryer that Foot Clan found. We were able to use it during our bye and warm up. We traveled with 11 players (Ben Ristau, Brent Bellinger, Brody, Dan DelPiano, Dan Pokrifka, John Thompson, Sean McComb, Alexis Louden, Sheetal Jhaveri, and Diana Schmalzried.

Pool Play (3-1)

Foot Clan (Western Pennsylvania) 8 – Pittsburgh 2 recap

Pittsburgh 8 – Edinboro 7 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Colgate 10 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Susquehanna 7 recap

Pool Play: Foot Clan (Western Pennsylvania)
They went up 5-0. Then we started to play or they stopped and it was 3-2. Final 8-2.

Pool Play: Edinboro
This game we went down early, but were able to bring it back somehow. I think it was 7-4 at half but we came back to win 8-7. We played hot zone O and D.

Pool Play: Colgate
We went up very quickly on this team but we got tired and they had one guy who wasn’t. He caught a score and then another and then another. It was bad but we held them off.

Pool Play: Susquehanna
The final game of the day. We were tired and cold and let them go up 4-0. Finally our Zone O started clicking and our Zone D started dominating. We scored 9 straight and kept on rolling to the end of the game.

16th Annual Mardi Gras: Baton Rouge, PA – March 1st – 2nd, 2003

Sixty open college teams, 103 teams overall, not just one, but TWO parties. This was the biggest and best tournament that pitt has ever been to.

Tourney Thoughts:
1. Man Defense. Needs work.
2. Establish a deep game early.
3. Involving players and making smarter throws and cuts.
4. The more we play together, the better our flow gets.
5. Ben Ristau learned to play Deep!
6. Crawfish. Not all they’re ‘cracked’ up to be.
7. Yanchak’s a homophobe.
8. We rose at least 12 spots out of seed. It’s gonna be a hot Spring guys, let’s keep it up!

Friday Night:
Uncharacteristic of most tournaments, the Mardi Gras held a Friday evening party. Several Abita varieties were on keg, and the bar was stocked with heady foreigns and serving all ages. Excellent food was brought in with several vegetarian options for those of us who swing that way. Two large trashcans were filled to the brim with crawfish. We ate, drank, and were merry, meeting many very cool people and unfortunately losing a boat race to Towson. Boat races will soon be incorporated into practice. Phill went to town on the crawfish, Yanchak went to town on everything else, and Fraggle went to town with the women.

Saturday Night:
Saturday night was a very different type of party. It was the weekend before Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) and the most crowded weekend for Mardi Gras celebrations. Short and simple: Breasts, Beer, Beads, and Sucky Parking. After an hour plus of driving around we found a spot on Bourbon street. Good times were had by all. The riotous Bourbon Street festivities entertained everyone and offered opportunities for debauchery and things we’re not going to tell our mothers about.

Back Row (Standing): Fraggle, Mike LoPresti, Carmen Parrotta, Mike Yanchak
Middle Row (Kneeling): Dan DelPiano, Ben Ristau, Ed Schneider, Dan Perry
Front Row (Sitting): Brent Bellinger, Brody, Sean McComb, Phil Katz
Not Shown: Jordan Perry

C-Bracket Pool Play (4-0)

Pittsburgh 15 – Miami (Ohio) 14 recap

Pittsburgh 13 – Indiana B 10 recap
Pittsburgh 15 – Oklahoma State 3 recap
Pittsburgh 15 – Grinnell 1 recap

B-Division Bracket (0-1)

Tulane 8 – Pittsburgh 6 recap

Pool Play: Miami (Ohio)
First game of the day – Miami of Ohio. Ex-Sabah Dan Perry and his brother Jordan came out to play for the blue and gold. Some of us had never played with each other before, some of us hadn’t played together since last spring, but we all came out hot and fired up, except for Phill who had eaten some bad crawfish the night before. Fraggle got dirty, scoring the first point and chalking up two in the layout d column. Neither team secured a big lead throughout the day, and we relied on strong cuts and Brody and Sean’s homey-o to maintain the advantage. In the beginning of the second half, Sean laid out to catch a disc when Ed laid out at the same time, and Sean ended up with a knee to the head and had to exit the game. He wouldn’t return until halfway through the next game. We failed to establish a deep game, but Miami resorted to desperation downwind punts that resulted in a few points for the bad guys. There was some confusion as to the meaning of the air horns, and we found out that the game was supposed to end several points earlier than it did. Nevertheless, we were never behind in the entire second half, earning ourselves a 4th over 1st seed upset.

Pool Play: Indiana B
The wind picked up for the second game against the number two seed Indiana-B. This introduced the zone for the first time in the tourney. Fraggle again scored the first goal and picked up the intensity for the team. If that wasn’t enough, Brody consistently made hot play after hot play, getting up, getting low, getting here, getting there, and eventually, getting a point block for his first ever Callahan Goal. We played zone and man, scoring several upwinders and establishing a deep game. A couple player from Indiana-A were playing with the bomb squad, but a team cannot win hanging on the coattails of just a couple players. We won the game and got ready for our bye.

Pool Play: Oklahoma State
OK State had a couple decent players, but this wasn’t enough as they made many poor decisions. Pitt got a little bit lazy this game and didn’t come off our bye with enough intensity. We won on skill and athleticism, but hardly with any sort of style. We involved everyone in this game, with many people throwing for scores.

Pool Play: Grinnell
Grinnell was a very spirited team and a lot of fun to play, but an obviously inexperienced team. We took the opportunity to run our Iso and Spread offenses as well as Zone defenses. They worked well, not only because of Grinnell’s unfamiliarity with the styles, but because they were run properly and efficiently. Sean grabbed another Callahan Goal for Pitt. Many threw for scores in this game as well, and Dan DelPiano made two assists.

Pool Play: Tulane
We were bumped up to the B-Division for winning our all our Saturday games. Wind played a huge factor in this one. The game was a fierce zone battle. Hot D was recorded over and over as coming from Brent, Phill Katz, Brody, and Fraggle. Sean shredded their defense with break after break. We went from being down 2-5 to up 6-5. Dan Perry took shorties deep for a few scores, but a lack of ability to transition to Man-Defense resulted in the loss of a few points. The winning goal was scored by Tulane on an Iso offense, the first time it had been used in the game.

WUFF Training Camp: Wilmington, NC – March 3rd – 7th, 2003

We went down with 11 players: Ben Ristau, Brent Bellinger, Brody, Carmen Parrotta, Dan DelPiano, Ed Schneider, Fraggle, Mike LoPresti, Mike Yanchak, Phil Katz, and Sean McComb.

Camp started not-so-promptly at 8am each morning and ran to 11am. We took a 2 hour break for lunch then restarted at 1pm and ran ’til 4pm. We got a minimum of 6 hours per day if not a little more. We stressed the basics of Ultimate each day, but Mike Gerics put a Coastal Carolina twist on all of it that made sure even our best players would learn something.

We worked on basics that would enhance our force middle and force sideline offenses. Everybody went home tired. No one left without learning a lot of new spikes. Check it out, I’m dangerous! Thanks to Sean and his dad for getting us the SWEET condo on the beach at Carolina Beach. If you go to Wilmington, make sure to eat at the Salt Works II. It’s fabulous!

Back Row: Brody, Fraggle, Mike LoPresti, Mike Gerics, Sean McComb, Dan DelPiano, Mike Yanchak
Front Row: Phil Katz, Brent Bellinger, Carmen Parrotta, Ed Schneider, Ben Ristau

Huck of the Irish: Salisbury, MD – March 15th – 16th, 2003

Its relatively easy to look at the tournament in three sections: Where we have come, where we need to be and where we can go. Saturday day-we proved that we have improved from the fall season and last year as we avenged last years HOTI loss to Towson, and Fall Phling losses to Syracuse and Rochester. Saturday’s night game was first hand experiencing where our team could go, in NC State. This is a team with skilled and conditioned players across the board, they basically took us to school in a 13-3 defeat. The Edinboro game showed us where we should be by sectionals, it showed that we do have the skills and the legs, but that we need to put it together for an entire game, that we need to cultivate a will to win, that we need to find the personal heart and intensity that it will take when the chips are down, and its time to lay it all on the line, time to see what we have left after the tank hits empty, time to see what we are made of.

It was a weekend of ups and downs, but a weekend that clearly shows we are not yet where we could be or where we should be. We traveled with 14 players this weekend: Ben Ristau, Brent Bellinger, Brody, Dan DelPiano, Dan Pokrifka, Ed Schneider, Fraggle, John Thompson, Josh Baranowski, Mike Yanchak, Patrick Lenahan, Phil Katz, and Sean McComb.

Back Row: Patrick Lenahan, Fraggle, John Thompson Ben Ristau, Sean McComb, Dan DelPiano, Josh Baranowski, Mike Yanchak
Front Row: Phil Katz, Ed Schneider, Brody, Brent Bellinger, Dan Pokrifka

Pool Play (3-1)

Pittsburgh 13 – Syracuse 7 recap

Pittsburgh 9 – Rochester 7 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Towson 7 recap
North Carolina State 13 – Pittsburgh 3 recap

Elimination Bracket (1-1)

Edinboro 13 – Pittsburgh 8 recap

Pittsburgh 13 – Virginia Tech 5 recap

Pool Play: Syracuse
After spending the entire morning playing musical fields, we finally got to play ultimate. The game against Rochester gave us an opportunity to revenge a one point loss at Fall Phling and to match up against a team that had also attended WUFF Camp this year. We came out fired up and put on a suffocating zone defense. We forced them to swing the disc until they made an errant throw or until an extra effort on our part got a turnover. Once we got the disc we used the short field efficiently and took a 5-0 lead. Rochester, to their credit, did not fold and cracked our D for their first score. Our offense now proved inept at moving the full field and repeatedly turned the disc over, giving the Piggies easy goals. They got back into the game and tied it at sevens, where the game was capped. At this point we refused to lose. We switched to a tough man-d and out played them for the final two points and the game. The victory raised our record in close games (decided by two points or less) to 2-1 this season. This is promising as our record in these games was a dismal 1-5 last year.

Pool Play: Rochester
We came out a little flat against this team and let them go up 4-0. Then we scored upwind and could come start bringing our zone on defense. The score at half was 7-4. We got ourselves especially fired up in the second half, making deep cuts for hucks and staying chilly in the red-zone. Several strings worked out well in this game, and the zone defense proved difficult for the boys from ‘Cuse to handle. Trapping against the lines and making swings difficult forced several turnovers.

Pool Play: Towson
A break between games cooled us down a bit too much and we went down early in this one. A few points later we got back in the game, made solid cuts and great throws, and came back. Sean’s hucks to Brody were on target for several points. One was not however, and a Towson handler attempted to break Brody upfield. The pass was high and floated, Fraggle skied his man to knock it away and into the end zone where he caught it for his first career Callahan goal. Towson worked the zone decently for a few points, but were unable to do much against it overall. Man D was a invitation to glory for several Sabahs; the layouts, anticipations, and skies abounded.

Pool Play: North Carolina State
The game to win the pool. A showdown under the lights between the number 1 and 4 seed in the pool. We were both 3-0. We are an up and coming team, they are a perennial power house. If they aren’t at nationals, they are threatening it every year. The plan was come out, play our hardest, and if nothing else see how we stack up against some of the best. As it turns out, we didn’t stack up too well after the first point where Sean aired out a beautiful huck to Brody off the pull on a sleeping Wolfpack defense. Unfortunately, this play seemed to wake them up. They went on to throw long score after long score using an offense that had them packed in tight around the disc (within 20 yards) but left the entire rest of the field wide open. They got the disc back again and again because their defense was simply stifling. They played man D and just ran so hard that we could not get open. We didn’t play like a team enough to get open. Instead, we relied on superb individual efforts like Ben “Money” Ristau’s first true layout catch in the end zone. Despite these hot solo efforts, it wasn’t enough. Their top seven, and probably top ten, were all fast and could all throw the disc extremely well. Though they didn’t seem to be running any certain plays or offenses, they were extremely well organized and rarely clogged. In retrospect, though we gave up hope of winning the game and our active sideline sat down in dismay, we did learn a thing or two. We learned where we are as a team, where we are not, and we also learned where we are going . . .

Pool Play: Edinboro
This game was against Edinboro, a team that we will need to beat to go to regionals. It was a litmus test to see where we are in comparison to where we want and expect to be. We played right with them through the vast majority of the first half despite a number of drops, scoring to make it 5-5. However, we gave up an upwinder and a subsequent downwinder to let them take half 7-5. In the second half, we became inpatient, we rushed and forced throws and let our offense get out of control. The mental errors on “O” led to let downs on “D” and we lost the second half 6-3 and the game 13-8.

Pool Play: Virginia Tech
Our consolation game was against Virginia Tech. Since there was supposed to be a bye before our game we decided to call the TD to see if we could just commandeer some field at Salisbury and just play then. VT “tried to call the TD” though later his cell phone revealed no missed calls, curiously enough. It was decided that we would team rosham for the game, little did VaTech know that this has been what we have really been practicing for the past 2.5 months. We DOMINATED the game, sticking with the strength of “rock” and playing the crafty “paper” and “scissors” rarely but intelligently. Honestly, VaTech never stood a chance, final score- 13-5 Pitt.

Annual Joint Summit Classic: Clemson, SC – March 29th – 30th, 2003

19th Annual Joint Summit Classic. Not-really lined fields. Live Band. Warm weather. Great times and pretty good play, we went 5-2 with a small squad of 8 players (Ben Ristau, Brody, Carmen Parrotta, Dan DelPiano, Fraggle, Mike LoPresti, Mike Yanchak, Phil Katz, and Sean McComb) We picked up Blake Joy (Clemson Alumni and the captain of bRUNt) and Dan Perry once we were down there. Our coach, Iron Mike Klawansky, also played a few points.

Pool Play (4-1)

Pittsburgh 11 – Elon 2 recap

Pittsburgh 11 – Ohio 7 recap
Emory 11 – Pittsburgh 9 recap
Pittsburgh 11 – Dreher High school 3 recap
Pittsburgh 14 – Berry 12 recap

Championship Bracket (1-1)

Prequarterfinal: Pittsburgh 13 – South Carolina 10 recap

Quarterfinal: Florida State 13 – Pittsburgh 7 recap

Pool Play: Elon
Sparkle Motion gets absolutely no support from Elon University. In fact, they are not even allowed to use the name “Elon.” You have to respect “not-Elon” (as they called themselves) for even existing, yet alone coming to tournaments, under those circumstances. On the field we completely over matched Sparkle Motion and rolled to an easy victory.

Pool Play: Ohio
During our first round bye we watched an athletic OU zone defense completely suffocate Elon. We were not surprised when they set it on us, but the first point was a little difficult anyway. We worked the disc 60 yards twice, turning it over in the end zone both times. Fortunate for us, OU hucked it incomplete both times. On our third try we finally punched it in for the first point. After getting settled, our offense was very efficient. Even though the wind was calm, and we proved point after point that their Z wasn’t working, they kept putting it on until the game was out of reach.

Pool Play: Emory
As we seem to at least once every tournament, we came out cold. Emory put up four points before we responded. We gained ground and found ourselves down at half 6 to 4. We traded points for much of the second half, but we couldn’t win the critical points that would have allowed us to tie it. Emory was a good team and took second place in the tournament, but I think we all wanted a second shot at them.

Pool Play: Dreher High school
We got a look at some of the future college stars in this game. They may have a shot at Junior Nationals (at least their women do), but they were no match for us. They game did provide us with an excellent opportunity to experiment and try new things. Everyone got plenty of playing time, and Dan DelPiano got to run the offense.

Pool Play: Berry
After four games, after doing one of Brody’s infamous cool-down laps, and after some of us had de-cleated, we found out we had another game. We wanted to get this one over, but Berry would not oblige us. Even though they only had eight or nine players who had played at least as many games as us, they would not roll over. We were tired, and this was by no means our best game, but we played hard. Down the line we traded a bunch of hard fought points, but we took the last two when it mattered. Our record in close games is now 3-2.

Prequarterfinal: South Carolina
We were fired up and ready to win on Sunday for the first time this season. We played well in the first half and took advantage of SC mistakes for easy scores. We took half 7-1. We knew SC would probably play better in the second half, and we wanted to take the first few points to put the game away. After trading the first few point of half, our offense just fell apart. They scored a few in a row, and got real fired up. We started worrying about blowing the lead instead of scoring, and it cost us. We tried switching to a three man weave, but it only led to turnovers. SC tied it at 9 after a 6-0 run. We scored a key point to end our rut, but SC responded to tie it again at 10. Our offense came back and our defense became tough as we refused to blow this one, scoring the next three for the 13-10 win.

Quarterfinal: Florida State
Florida State is a very good team with lots of height and athleticism. They remind me in a number of ways of NC State, but whereas NC State had less than 5 turnovers the entire game, FSU gave the disk back more readily. We were able to take advantage and put up a decent number of points. In the end we came up short against a more experienced team, but we did learn some new things, including how to catch it “airplane style.” It was a tough draw for our quarter-final game. It would have been interesting to play Clemson or get another shot at Emory. As it was, FSU beat Emory in the finals.

Steakfest: Shippensburg, PA – April 5th – 6th, 2003

After heading to Penn State’s Spring Phling to cheer Pansy on, we headed through the mountain, some fogs, and hair pin turns to Shippensburg. Brent still isn’t happy about waking up to, “Oh shit, Oh Shit!” We played a great zone this weekend and did pretty well with how few subs we had. However, we couldn’t carry it through to the finals. We need a bigger team. We only had 8 players: Brent Bellinger, Brody, Dan DelPiano. We had one of our potential recruits for the following year, Tommy Pearson, play a few points with us and he even scored even though it was his first official game of Ultimate.

Pool Play (4-0)

Pittsburgh 13 – Shippensburg 7 recap

Pittsburgh 13 – Juniata 1 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Salisbury 6 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – St. Francis 4 recap

Championship Bracket (1-1)

Semifinal: Pittsburgh W – Juniata/Kutztown L recap

Final: Salisbury/Shippensburg 15 – Pittsburgh 9 recap

Pool Play: Shippensburg
We’d spent all morning in the cold watching Pansy play some hot Ultimate at Spring Phling at State College, now it was our turn and the sun was even beginning to shine and warm things up a little bit. We came out and pretty much went point-for-point with Shippensburg because we were making sloppy errors on both sides of the disc. However, eventually we cleaned things up and pulled the game out. One of the highlights of the game has got to be that one of our recruits for next year, Tommy Pearson from Myerstown, PA, came out to watch and ended up actually playing a few points. He’s never played ultimate before, but managed to score on his very first point ever. Way to go Tommy!

Pool Play: Juniata
We came out with our zone because this is a young team and wanted to force them to throw the disc a lot. They haven’t played against zone D before or simply don’t know how to play zone O. Their offense revolved around one guy getting the disc, holding on to it, looking off all short passes, and then hucking it deep. This managed to get them down field a number of times, but they could not punch it in on the short passes.

Pool Play: Salisbury
This was the one game that we were worried about all day. Salisbury had beaten teams that we beat. We came out playing zone because it was an upwinder/downwinder game, essentially the upwind scores would determine the winner of the game. Salisbury got the first upwinder because we tried to work it downwind instead of just hucking it or punting and playing D. However, we answered right back. The through on a zone and we just moved the disc through and around it and turned it to Swiss cheese. I don’t think I’ve ever seen us put a zone down so well and so fast. They didn’t throw zone again. From that point on we punted every downwinder and then through our zone D on which pinned them in the back of the end zone again and again. After that we scored 4-5 more upwinders and that just put the game away.

Pool Play: St. Francis
A reoccurring theme, we thought we were done and we really weren’t, but at least no one decleated this time. This was our cross-pool game that started around 8pm on a very cold night. We had a lot of trouble getting up for the game but luckily our offense came out smoothly. The real problem was on defense. We traded points to 4-4 by running our 1-3-3 zone and it just wasn’t working. So we shifted it to a 3-2-2 and suddenly something clicked. St. Francis didn’t score again and we rolled off 9 points straight, game over. This was another good game for younger players to learn and be the ones commanding the offense.

Semifinal: Juniata/Kutztown
These teams didn’t want to play us again because on Saturday, we crushed them in our quest for the steak. So they decided to make a super team, that really didn’t do that much better.

Final: Salisbury/Shippensburg
Salisbury lost a lot of players on Sunday and said they needed shippensburg’s good players to play in the finals. They also switched the field sizes up. It was really shady, and it through us badly. Consequently, we sucked it up and lost. OK, probably we just sucked it up because we were tired, but we were defeated in our quest for steak.

West Penn Sectionals: Edinboro, PA – April 19th – 20th, 2003

Pitt’s goal this year was to place 3rd at the Western Pennsylvania Sectionals and then, bids permitting, go to regionals. We worked out all winter and went to tournaments all over the east coast just to prepare for sectionals and to meet our goal. Well, we met our goal and got Pitt its first ever bid to regionals. We competed this weekend with a very small squad of 10 players: Ben Ristau, Brent Bellinger, Brody, Dan DelPiano, Dan Pokrifka, Mike LoPresti, Phil Katz, Rich ‘Fraggle’ Coker, Sean McComb, and Tom Kirchner. Mike Yanchak was there for moral support and his sideline yelling. Also, Dan Pokrifa (Poke) won the first fastest man contest at sectionals, beating a Felipe from Penn state in the finals.

Pool Play (4-1)

Pittsburgh 12 – Carnegie Mellon 10 recap

Pittsburgh 13 – Allegheny 6 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Juniata 1 recap
Pittsburgh 13 – Bucknell B 2 recap
Penn State 13 – Pittsburgh 2 recap

Championship Bracket (2-1)

Quarterfinal: Pittsburgh 15 – Susquehanna 9 recap

Semifinal: Pittsburgh 9 – Bucknell 5 recap
Final: Penn State 15 – Pittsburgh 3 recap

2nd Place Backdoor Bracket (0-1)

Final: Carnegie Mellon 15 – Pittsburgh 12 recap

Pool Play: Carnegie Mellon
This was a game that many of us had be looking forward to for a long time. Our proximity and the number of friendships among our players makes this rivalry strong but healthy. In addition in five years of Sectionals play, Pitt had never beaten Carnegie-Mellon. We did not, however, start strong. The game featured quite a bit of zone, and ours seemed rusty at first. On defense we allowed too many of their punts to be completed, and Mr. Yuk took half up 7-4. We fought back in the second half, getting back to a more efficient style of play. When the cap went on we were still down by one. Then, to quote West Penn Coordinator Dan Naylor, “Pitt battled back to make it 10-9, when a dropped pull by an unnamed CMU player gave Pitt a tie game. From there, Pitt stepped it up, and things fell apart for CMU all at the same time.” Although we had some help and some luck, this game was by no means given to us. The come back was fueled by a number of great individual plays on our part. Some of the highlights were TallE catching a Callahan goal, Sean point blocking a huck, and Phil making a crazy rescue of a MACed disc. We could have played better, but getting the so called “CMU monkey” off our backs felt petty good, no matter how we did it.

Pool Play: Allegheny
Despite the presence of Pittsburgh favorite, Brandon Redding, Allegheny just didn’t have the depth to compete with us for an entire game. They came as a coed team to an open tournament and did pretty well.

Pool Play: Juniata
Juniata appeared at sectionals for the first time ever this year and their inexperience showed, but they are a growing team with hints of promise. Hopefully, they keep coming out and competing. The highlight of this game was when Sean McComb took a huck fully in the chest from only ten feet away. It left a mark, a really big red mark.

Pool Play: Bucknell B
We came, we played hard, we used our few subs, and came out on top.

Pool Play: Penn State
Penn State has a very good team; without a doubt the best in the section. We have a good team as well, and we were looking forward to playing them for the top spot in the A Pool. They scored first and proceeded to put on a zone defense. Our offense came out clicking, and we ripped through them to tie the score, prompting one Spank player on the sideline to say, “[Crap], they are good.” Unfortunately they quickly learned from this and did not play zone again. Our man offense was pretty bad, but we are better than we played. There is no reason that we should have gone down 12 to 1. We seem to have some sort of phobia of playing well against good teams. This manifested itself against NC State as well as PSU, and it something we must get over quickly.

(As a side note, now seems to be an appropriate time to talk about our record against teams from Penn State’s Spring Phling tournament. Although we were denied a bid, we have defeated Ohio University, Rochester, Syracuse, Carnegie-Mellon, and Bucknell, while only losing to Edinboro and Penn State. We hope that this will allow us to play at next year’s Phling.)

Quarterfinal: Susquehanna
Our goal from the beginning of the year was to go to regionals. To do that we knew we needed to win two games in Sunday’s double elimination. This first one was extremely important. For one, it was against a team that we should be able to beat, and it would also be much, much harder to advance in the loser’s bracket, where the pressure would be on. The wind from Saturday had intensified, making most games zone contests. We pulled and set our defense with the wind. We got a turnover within ten yards of our end zone, but could not score. Groundchuck got the upwinder, and this was the model for the first half. We had at least three or four chances from our goal line-not near the goal line, but ON it–and we could not convert. In fact, all three of our points in the first half came on upwinders. Halftime found us down 8-3. It was time for us to reach down deep and find what it would take to win this game. We got the first point to start the second half and then another and another. Momentum swung in our direction as we stifled their offense and torched their defense. We scored 7 in a row to make it 10-8 before they scored again, and then we closed the game on a 5-0 run. We played our top seven the entire game, even though Brody was basically a cripple. Depth is one thing we need to work on for next year.

Semifinal: Bucknell
This was our game to go to regionals. At sectionals last year, Bucknell eliminated us 15-2. This time things would be different. Once again, our zone defense played very well. We forced Bucknell into many poor decisions and throws. On offense we weren’t spectacular, but we worked it nicely upwind. Our strategy of punting downwind was successful. We took a 6-1 lead. Bucknell is a good team and they were not going to go down that easily. They put a on really tight mark to stop our hucks and were able to close the gap to 6-4. We needed to score the next one to stop their run and we did. The cap went on at 7-4. We traded the next two points. Game point seemed to take forever, but we got it, earning our first ever trip to Regionals!

Final: Penn State
We had already qualified for regionals and that was our season goal. After that, we unfortunately didn’t have the legs, energy, or healthy bodies to throw into another big game.

Final: Carnegie Mellon
We didn’t want to wait around for a bye to then play one more game, so we used the captain’s clause to alter the rules of the game. Ultimate became a quick session of ro-sham-bo for this short game. Unfortunatley, we didn’t come out on top.

Metro East Regionals: Princeton, NJ – May 3rd – 4th, 2003

The tournament we worked for all season. We came in seeded 10th, but finished in a 4-way tie for 12th. We again played with a small squad of 10 players: Ben Ristau, Brent Bellinger, Brody, Dan DelPiano, Dan Pokrifka, John Thompson, Mike LoPresti, Phil Katz, Rich ‘Fraggle’ Coker, Sean McComb. Mike Yanchak was there for moral support and his sideline yelling.

Championship Bracket (0-1)

Prequarterfinal: George Washington 15 – Pittsburgh 10 recap

2nd Place Backdoor Bracket (0-1)

Prequarterfinal: Rochester 15 – Pittsburgh 7 recap

Prequarterfinal: George Washington
We came out hot against this team and even took an early lead but they are a team that can battle back as they showed all weekend winning 3 games by a total of 5 points. Phil Katz had one super hot sky in the end zone and Brody grabbed a Callahan off of their off-the-pull iso play.

Prequarterfinal: Rochester
We came out this game and simply didn’t play. We came out slow and played slow and one of our worst games of the season.