Although Ultimate resembles many traditional sports in its athletic requirements, it is unlike most sports due to its focus on self-officiating, even at the highest levels of competition. This concept, called Spirit of the Game, is integrated into the basic philosophy of the sport, written into the rules, and practiced at all levels of the game from local leagues to the World Games.
Combining the non-stop movement and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football, a game of Ultimate is played by two teams with a flying disc or Frisbee™ on a field with end zones, similar to football. The object of the game is to score by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone. A player must stop running while in possession of the disc, but may pivot and pass to any of the other receivers on the field.
Ultimate is a transition game in which players move quickly from offense to defense on turnovers that occur with a dropped pass, an interception, a pass out of bounds, or when a player is caught holding the disc for more than ten seconds. Ultimate is governed by Spirit of the Game™, a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees.
In 2016, Denis Maguire joined the faculty and took over the DUT program with Phinney. Maguire, an accomplished player at Bowdoin had high hopes in his first year. He expected the high level techniques and strategies that he had learned at Bowdoin and in club ultimate to translate instantly to the Dublin field. While some did, most did not, and Maguire realized that the team simply wasn’t ready for what he thought would work. As the 2016 season progressed, Maguire and Phinney refocused on developing throwing fundamentals and implementing a zone defense to counteract the potent offenses that they faced. While the team made progress through 2016, competitive results lagged — games were closer than before but the overall record reflected our inexperience.
Dublin played White Oak at home for their final game of the season in high winds. Dublin started the game with quick scores that resulted from smart defensive plays. They kept this up throughout the first half, which ended 8-1. During the second half, Henry Luettgen '19 and Reed Brencher '20, two up-and-comers, made impressive catches and defensive plays to help extend Dublin's lead. In the final points, efforts from seniors Katia Dermott, Silas Howe, AJ Simpson, and Dieter Brehm (who caught the games final goal), ensured the victory with a final score of 15-2.
With their most successful season in the books, DUT now must say farewell to the seniors who gave so much to the team. However, with an overall level of experience that is greater than this program has ever seen, Dublin looks to improve even more next year. With many returning playmakers, the future for Dublin Ultimate is bright.
On the hottest day of the year so far (87 degrees), Dublin traveled to play Charlemont, the surprise 3rd place finisher at the RVAL tournament. Dublin beat Charlemont earlier this year, but came into this game with a chip on their shoulder. They used a zone defense to great success and built an 8-1 halftime lead. In the second half, Dublin switched to one-on-one defense and continued their dominance. With excellent handler motion on offense and good downfield cutting, Dublin closed out the game 15-2.
After a strong regular season, Dublin came into the tournament as the 2nd seed. In the first round they closed out Charlemont's JV squad in an uncontested match. They next saw Four Rivers Girls Varsity, one of the most skilled teams at the tournament. After building a 6-3 lead, Dublin started to struggle against Four Rivers's stingy zone defense. As time cap loomed, the game grew tighter, and eventually was tied 7-7. The final point featured incredible throws, athletic plays, miscues, and heroic efforts by players on each team, but Four Rivers came away with an 8-7 victory.
Heading into their last game of the regular season against Hartsbrook, Dublin aimed to solidify their right to the 2nd seed in the upcoming RVAL Championship Tournament. The conditions were cold and rainy, and Dublin had many unforced errors and found themselves in a 0-2 hole early. As has been the case all season, they refocused for the next point and went on a 10-0 run. They finished the game with a final score of 13-4. Katia Dermott '17 and Harrison Atlas '18 both had outstanding games defensively, and the offense relied on excellent handler motion from Silas Howe '18 and A.J. Simpson '17.
During warm up drills, it became clear that the conditions were the windiest Dublin had faced this year. Even without defenders, it was difficult to complete upwind passes. In the first half, Dublin's zone overwhelmed White Oak's offense and easily forced turnovers and punched in downwind points. In the upwind direction, Dublin overcame the significant weather challenges and worked the disc upfield with both patient handler movement and a few impressive hucks. After taking half 8-2, Dublin switched to a one-on-one defense to prepare for teams with more experience against zones. After a few adjustments, this proved to be effective, and Dublin defenders successfully dictated the moves of the offensive cutters.
With consistent play from Miles Morgan '18 and some amazing catches from Robbie Bostrup '17 and Dieter Brehm '17, Dublin closed the game out 15-6. In addition, Timmy Stone '18, who has been key in maintaining possession in the middle of the field all year, notched his first goal of the season. Dublin Ultimate now prepares for their Friday game against Hartsbrook, a perennial contender in the RVAL tournament.
Though the day started out foggy, the clouds opened up for our Tuesday game against Eagle Hill. Days before, Dublin scrimmaged Eagle Hill in a game to 7 and came up just short. With fresh legs and a new game plan, Dublin came into the day with confidence. With 15-20 mile per hour gusts, Dublin knew the upwind points would be crucial and relied on the strategy of catching the disc with momentum and hucking deep. This paid off as Dublin went into half up 8-6. To start the second half, Dublin went on a 4-0 run. With the game nearing time cap, and a score of 12-6, the win was on ice. Eagle Hill scored the final 2 points before cap, and the game ended 12-8.
On Saturday, April 29, on a windswept Alumni field, in the unexpected sun, Dublin Ultimate played what may or may not have been their best game of the year (due to the wind, and several unforced errors, it is hard to state definitively), but it was certainly their most dominant. Facing a Winchendon team that came back from 6-2 deficit a week prior to win 15-9, Dublin took control early, and never relinquished it. Executing a vertical stack offense, Dublin pushed the score to 11-3 in the second half, before Winchendon switched to a zone defense. No mater: for Dublin, playing against a zone defense is what they would prefer. Exploiting holes in the underneath space in front of the handlers, Dublin closed out the game in dominant fashion--this after many players had already been running up and down the field for an hour and a half. Harrison Atlas 18, was Dublin's leading scorer, with six goals; Katia Dermott 17, added three. AJ Simpson 17, led with seven assists. Silas Howe 18, led the defense with nine Ds.
On Friday, April 28, DUT traveled to Putney for a game overlooking the Vermont countryside. Due to confusion with scheduling, Eagle Hill also arrived, just before game time, believing that they, too, were scheduled to take on Putney. To make the best of the situation, each team agreed to play shortened games against the other two teams, with halftime at 4 points (rather than the usual 8) and winning point at 7. In the first game, Dublin set the tone early as the team with the superior short game, moving the disc up and down the field effectively, while not shying away from huck opportunities when they arose. Silas Howe 18, turned in a strong performance as handler, with six assists; Miles Morgan 18, and Harrison Atlas 18, each scored three goals. Katia Dermott 17, led the defense with three Ds.
In the second game, a fresh-legged and aggressive Eagle Hill team jumped out to a 4-1 lead by halftime, capitalizing on downfield completions and a number of unforced errors by Dublin. However, in the second half, Dublin took control. Believing themselves to be just as good a team as Eagle Hill, Dublin continued to press offensively, kept their cool in scoring situations, and clamped down on defense. Dublin didn't end up with the win, but definitively won the second half, and came out with a confidence-boosting moral victory. Miles Morgan 18, led with four goals; Silas Howe 18, had three assists and 5 Ds. Our game on Tuesday, May 2, promises to be a good one.
On Saturday, Dublin faced a gun-slinging, huck-happy team in Eaglebrook School on their home field. After falling behind in the opening minutes, Dublin made defensive adjustments to frustrate Eaglebrook 's attack, and began making better decisions in zone offense. Executing a patient series of swing passes between handlers, cutters found space in the middle of the field and learned the virtues of finding the open continue or reset pass, rather than going for glory in low-percentage, down-field hucks. The team continued to evolve as a unit, growing together in its ability to adjust and communicate on the field. Defensively, Miles Morgan 18, Robbie Bostrup 17, and Silas Howe 18 caused problems for Eaglebrook all day, each recording multiple deflections. AJ Simpson 17, led handlers with six assists, and Miles Morgan led scorers with six goals.
On Friday, April 21, Dublin Ultimate traveled to Winchendon to compete in the cold, drizzling rain. After jumping out to an early lead, DUT struggled to maintain its advantage in the first half. Inexperienced decision-making extended some points, making for a lot of running on tired legs, which led to sloppy mistakes. However, using the opportunity of competing against a stingy person-to-person defense gave Dublin a change to develop its vert stack offense. The contest also gave them valuable experience making in-game adjustments on both offense and defense. Silas Howe 18, and AJ Simpson 17, led the way defensively, each with six deflections. Miles Morgan 18 and Harrison Atlas 18 each scored four goals.
In the wind and drizzle on Wednesday, April 19, Dublin Ultimate hosted The Academy at Charlemont for our first game of the year. Dublin deployed the three-person cup in a stingy defensive effort, limiting Charlemont to five goals. The trio of Miles Morgan '18, Harrison Atlas '18, and Timmy Stone '18 kept Charlemont's handlers off balance and forced many low-percentage throws and turn-overs. A.J. Simpson '17, roamed the deep end of the field and cleaned up with six Ds. Playing in a three-handler, zone offense, Dublin reached the end-zone 14 times, with Harrison Atlas '18 (6), and Miles Morgan '18 (5), leading the scoring. Silas Howe '18 and A.J. Simpson '17 each led with four assists, and Katia Dermott '17 contributed three. It was a strong team effort, with all players making contributions to the victory. Way to go DUT!
After a multi-sport high school career, Denis started playing ultimate in his first year at Bowdoin in the fall of 2011. A three year starter on the team, Denis served as a captain in his junior and senior years. Bowdoin reached the DIII National Championship tournament in 2012 and 2015, and Denis received First-Team All-Region honors (Ultimate's version of All-America honors) for New England as an offensive handler in 2015. From 2013-2015, Denis also played as a defensive handler with Red Tide, the top club team in Maine. He is currently captain of an elite Boston club team ("Dig") and plays as a defensive cutter. His current goal is to play at Club Nationals.