By Esteban Bachelet | Staff Writer
While SERF dominated its conference tournament in Columbus, the Kenyon women’s Ultimate team, Ransom, hosted its own conference tournament over the weekend.
Down on Kenyon’s intramural fields, amid muddy terrain, sunburned skin, wind-tossed hair and countless Gatorade bottles sprawled on fresh grass, Ransom earned its second bid to Division III Regionals in three years at the Ohio Conference Championships.
Ransom finished the two-day tournament in second place in a field of eight Ohio teams, picking up a 2-1 record in pool play but losing to the College of Wooster in the final.
“I feel really good about how our team played,” Co-Captain Emma Peaslee ’14 said.
Ransom quickly dispatched Xavier University 13-7 and Oberlin College 14-5 before losing the last game of pool play to eventual champions College of Wooster, 11-12.
The loss featured intense back-and-forth action by the two premier teams in the Conference.
President Sean Decatur and his son Owen were among the eager spectators lining the field and cheering the players on.
“We had about 25 fans, which we’ve never had before,” Peaslee said.
“Every time one of us would make a great play, the crowd would make noise and we’ve never experienced that before,” she added. “It was really cool to see us step up and make really big plays.”
Ransom demonstrated the ability to stay with Wooster and even threatened to win the game. Blustering wind kept the game in check, however, as Wooster made a few cutting throws to seal the win.
“We lost by one point; you can’t really ask for a better game than that,” Co-Captain Tracy Curtin ’14 said.
The loss did not derail Ransom and the team returned on Sunday to face Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) for the semi-final with high spirits and eager determination.
OWU could not keep up with a Ransom team featuring a talented mix of first-year players and four-year veterans.
Ransom won the game by a five-point margin, 13-7, to advance to the final.
Unlike the close nature of the first game, this time Wooster jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, defeating Ransom by a wide margin, 15-5.
Howling winds made the disc toss and turn, rarely reaching its intended target for either team.
“I think a huge factor was the wind,” Curtin said. “In future practices, we’re going to work on our offense [so we] can compete more strongly in the wind.”
Having already qualified for Regionals, Ransom utilized the full depth of its approximately 30-player roster.
“We worked as a collective unit; this is the biggest team we’ve ever had,” Peaslee explained.
“Obviously we’d love to go to Nationals, but that is not really our team philosophy,” Curtin said.
Instead, Ransom looks to stay grounded and focused on Regionals.