The Shippensburg University men’s ultimate frisbee club finished fifth out of nine teams at its home tournament, Steakfest, Saturday and Sunday in Shippensburg.
After a strong showing in its debut tournament in September that included a win over Penn State University, the club played to a 2-3 record against quality competition at Steakfest.
The Scapegoats opened Saturday’s pool play with a 13-5 victory against the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown. In a balanced offensive attack, Shippensburg had 10 different players score goals against UPJ.
Shippensburg dropped its next game against Lehigh University by a score of 13-7, despite trailing just 7-5 at halftime. Senior Ian Reid starred in the first half, scoring all five of the Scapegoats’ goals.
SU then suffered another second-half setback against the University of Pennsylvania, falling 9-7 in a game that it trailed just 6-5 at one point. Sophomore Brett Stewart and senior captain Zack Hunsberger led the team with three goals apiece.
The Scapegoats closed out pool play with a 13-8 win over the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The win secured SU a spot in Sunday’s championship bracket, where a quarterfinal matchup with West Penn Conference rival Messiah College awaited them.
The quarterfinal battle contained the same excitement that past matchups between the two conference rivals have, as Shippensburg fell in a 15-14 thriller. The Scapegoats opened up an early 3-0 lead, but were never able to put the Falcons away for good.
“We’ve come up short against Messiah quite a few times in the past few years, but it’s always a great fight,” sophomore Evan Hake said. “They’re one of the best programs in the region so it’s hard to be too upset about losing close games to them. They’re always a great benchmark test for us.”
Reid led the Scapegoats at the tournament with 13 goals. Hunsberger’s nine goals were the second-most on the team. Senior captain Chris Wurtz led the team in assists with 16, while Hunsberger tallied 15.
Multiple first-year players made an instant impact, including Baily Supp (two assists) and John Looby (two goals).
“Our freshmen really stepped up to the plate and filled in some really important roles early in their careers,” said junior captain Ryan Kolimaga. “They have a lot of room to grow, but we were thrilled with their performance.”
With the regular season not starting until the spring semester, Shippensburg’s captains know where they need to improve as a team.
“We’re really looking to focus on the defensive aspect of our game,” Hunsberger said. “That’s where we have the biggest strides to make. That’s what’s gonna get us where we want to be in the big picture at regionals and nationals.”
The Scapegoats will close out their fall season on Nov. 9 and 10 at George Mason University’s Patriot Games.
Editor’s note — Sports editor Chris Wurtz is the president of the men’s ultimate frisbee club.