Girls’ ultimate flies past Andover in highly offensive, commanding win


Julia Dun Rappaport

North’s wildly successful first half motivated the team to become a blur of moving shapes and cheers of “I’m fired up! You fired up?” that were audible from across the entire field. 

Girls’ ultimate bageled Andover in their first 15-0 win of the season this Thursday. Sophomore Mia Diana credits their strong cuts and throws for the decisive win. 

This game was the last before Pioneer Valley Invitational Tournament, where North entered as the third ranked team according to head coach Heather Raker. North entered the tournament this weekend with a 7-2 record, counting Thursday’s triumphant win. 

The game began with a nearly immediate goal from junior Willa Glass, who started the ball rolling for North. As Andover struggled with completing passes without blocks from North, the Tigers continued to dominate in scoring. 

“We continued to play our offense very well,” said Raker, commenting on her team’s persistent effort against Andover. 

After yet another point thanks to sophomore Grace Vaughn, freshman Edith Harrington soon became a major contributor to the team, successfully scoring and then later intercepting an Andover pass. The game continued with even more scoring from North, including a successful bid from South freshman Ellie Lemberg. 

“Our goal first and foremost is to get a lot of people used to the sport,” said Sarah O’Reilly,  a captain. This year’s team is comprised of a lot of new players, many of whom got the chance to play in Thursday’s game. 

North outnumbered Andover, resulting in what turned out to be a valuable asset: energized players on the field more often. All of North’s substitutes allowed them to play more successfully. North’s energy and speed illustrates this, as shown by sophomore Shira Lobron, who quickly hustled to the disc to score.  

In addition to a triumphant offense throughout the game, North’s pulls were a critical part of their prevailing performance. The powerful hucks came mostly from Diana and freshman Eliza Dyett, both strong handlers. 

North’s scoring continued with catches from O’Reilly and senior Riley Raker, another captain. O’Reilly’s catch, thrown by junior Julia Kezer, was the last play of the half. 

According to Raker, competing against a relatively inexperienced team allowed North’s newer players to have a chance to “step up and play great.”

“We try really hard to make sure everyone feels comfortable and included,” said O’Reilly. 

This team unity was illustrated in the uproarious cheers during the halftime break. The team came back after the break with an almost immediate score from junior Emily Zhu. After yet another score from Glass, Dyett again contributed with two strong pulls. 

Andover continued to struggle in many aspects of the game, particularly with receiving. Lemberg and junior Emma Kellstein blocked two of Andover’s passing attempts. 

The game concluded with two incredible points by O’Reilly, including one layout that featured a roll on the ground. 

Not only was Thursday’s game North’s only shutout, it was the first to be played to 15. “Most of our games end at 13, either because we decide to end it there or because of field unavailability,” Dyett said. Even with these conditions, North has dominated in a five game win streak.  

According to Kezer, sportsmanship and respect are huge parts of Ultimate, and what have helped the team to be so victorious. “It’s such a good environment,” said Kezer, “It’s the most fun team I’ve been on.”