The Philadelphia University women’s Ultimate Frisbee team finished the 2012-13 season ranked fifth in the nation, after an impressive performance at Ultimate Frisbee nationals.
The team, competing in just its second season, carried an 18-8 record into the 2013 USA Ultimate D-3 College Women’s Championships. The Rams got off to rocky start in the tournament, which took place in Milwaukee on May 18-19, pitting the top 16 women’s Ultimate teams in pool play and a single elimination tournament.
PhilaU lost its first two matches, but defeated University of Mary Washington in a hard-fought 9-7 victory to advance to the winner’s bracket as the third team selected from their pool. A 12-9 round-one win in bracket play over Elon University guaranteed a top-half finish for the Rams, and after a 15-6 loss knocked PhilaU out of the winner’s bracket, the team responded by beating a tough Truman State team to finish tied for fifth-place in the tournament. PhilaU tied friend and rival Swarthmore College for the fifth-place spot.
Swarthmore was the only Philadelphia-area team besides PhilaU at the championships, which Bowdoin College won by defeating Williams College 15-5 in the final match.
PhilaU Ultimate Frisbee, coached by Nick LoPresto, started the season on a mission to qualify for their first-ever national tournament. “We were able to come together and realize the potential that we had, said junior Alyssa Leaning, one of several returning players from the inaugural PhilaU squad.
The team was disappointed with a second place finish at regionals this season, but qualified for the championship tournament as an at-large bid based on their strong play in one of the most competitive regions for Ultimate Frisbee in the country. “We all felt it was a dream,” Leaning said. The athletics department at PhilaU was able to help the team raise the necessary funds to finance their trip to Milwaukee.
Leaning made first team all-region and was selected as Player of the Year for the Ohio Valley Region. Senior Erika Krueger made second-team all-region.
“This whole season was kind of a highlight because we really came together as a team,” Leaning said. “PhilaU showed the Ultimate community that they belong at nationals, and that we will be back with more players and more experience.”
The women’s Ultimate Frisbee team roster, scores and schedule can be found on the team’s website.