Women's ultimate seeking title

    The UCSD women’s ultimate disc team began its quest for its first national title last weekend after making it to the finals last year but losing to eventual champion University of Georgia.

    “”Our goal is to make it to nationals and win,”” said UCSD’s senior team captain Kristina Ow. “”I think we have the potential to do the same as we did last year.””

    In 2001, the Psycaughtits, loaded with experienced disc veterans, were ranked second in the nation and finished third in the nation.

    This year, despite losing many key players, the team is again ranked second in early unofficial rankings.

    “”We’re definitely a different team,”” Ow said. “”We lost eight seniors, each of which were really important to our team.””

    However, thanks to a strong incoming class of players, the UCSD team has more than enough talent to fill the holes left behind by graduating players.

    “”We gained eight really athletic rookies,”” Ow said. “”They’re learning how to play really fast.””

    Co-captain Dania Goodman agreed.

    “”It’s always good to get fresh blood,”” she said. “”This new batch of rookies — they’re so fast and talented. This is a really young team this year and we’re trying to do even better [than last year’s finish].””

    The Psycaughtits started well, going undefeated in their first official tournament last weekend in Santa Barbara. Facing teams from UC Davis, Berkeley, Northwestern, Stanford and UC Santa Barbara, the only thing that stopped the UCSD team was the rain, which ended the tournament after the first day.

    But before the Psycaughtits headed home, they had picked up four victories, including a huge 8-7 win by the UCSD B team over powerhouse Stanford’s B team.

    “”[The Santa Barbara tournament] was the first time we’ve played together as a team,”” Ow said. “”Everyone played really well.””

    The women work with the men’s team to host the President’s Day Tournament in which more than 40 teams compete at UCSD.

    “”Presidents Day weekend is our big tournament weekend,”” Ow said. “”We get teams from all over the nation to play — every field on campus is packed.””

    Many of the returning players have been competing since summer, participating on open and coed teams with more experienced competitors.

    Last summer eight current UCSD players competed on a local team that finished fifth in nationals and will be traveling to Hawaii in August for the world championships.

    However, despite the burden that comes with being the second-ranked women’s ultimate disc team in the nation, the Psycaughtits aren’t forgetting that it’s a club sport.

    “”We have to definitely strike a balance [between serious competition and having fun] because we have so many players,”” Goodman said. “”It depends — since we’re getting better and better, the focus is shifting to more and more competitive, but I think the root of Psycaughtits is to have fun.””

    Guided by second-year coach Chris Jewell, the Psycaughtits certainly aren’t lacking in the competitive department.

    “”[Chris has] been playing ultimate for over 20 years,”” Goodman said. “”In terms of ultimate, that’s about as dinosaur as you can get.””

    With a full roster and a strong, young team, the prospects for the UCSD women’s ultimate team are looking good.

    For their next event, the Psycaughtits travel to Tempe, Ariz., for the Tempe New Year’s Fest from Feb. 2 to Feb. 3.

    “”It’s an open tournament, so it’s older, more experienced people,”” Ow said. “”They’ve been playing ultimate for like 15 years.””

    According to Ow, the tournament also gives the Psycaughtits a chance to reunite and compete with alumnae.

    But this team is trying to concentrate on more important things.

    “”I think we need to work on the basics: catching and throwing,”” Goodman said. “”We’ve got all the spirit we need, all the fun; we just need to stay focused. Keep an eye on what we need. We are so fired-up to do better, to excel, to beat [last year’s finish], to win nationals this year.””

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