Women’s ultimate team loaded for postseason postponed from spring semester
The promise of not just one but two postseasons this school year has members of Liberty University’s women’s ultimate team full of energy and enthusiasm over their potential. The Lady Flames’ fall season debut will be at the USA Ultimate Virginia Conference Championships, set for Oct. 16-17 at the Publix Soccer Center in Fredericksburg, Va., where the Flames’ men’s team will also be competing.
“I’m super excited about this season,” junior Anna Vermilion said. “A lot of people have working hard over the summer to prepare since our (spring) season’s been moved to the fall. We got a lot of new girls after tryouts … and everybody’s working really hard to kind of get going and get back in the groove of things.”
Though Liberty continued to practice throughout the 2020-21 season, its only competition came in the form of alumni tournaments in the fall and spring semesters organized by Head Coach Jonathan Mast, as well as a spring scrimmage at Virginia Tech.
ery, very excited to be back on the field,” senior captain Brittany Fowle said. “I really missed having a season last year. It’s really exciting to be on the field with the girls again and with the new girls and to know that we’re going to compete and that we get to go out there and show what we’ve been practicing and what we’ve been learning.”
Most likely the top four teams out of the seven at the conference tournament will advance to the USA Ultimate Atlantic Coast Regional Championships, an event the Lady Flames have qualified to compete in the past six times.
“All we’ve been doing is trying to get as much practice as we can, and to get in the best shape that we can,” said Mast, who has added five new players to the 16 returnees to form a 21-woman roster. “We are focusing on ourselves internally and trying to do our best. For the newer players, a lot of them will learn to swim by throwing them in the water at their first real tournament. For them, particularly, it will be a phenomenal experience.”
He said five of the returning players will not be back for the spring semester, including a couple — Fowle and Brianna Kuo — who actually graduated this past May but were given the opportunity to play in the fall postseason postponed from last spring.
“For the graduating players, they will help the sophomores and juniors to step into their roles as they’re vacating them,” Mast said. “I will be excited to see how they’re filling those roles.”
He said the team’s theme this season, as always, is to be “faithful in the little things.”
“Especially with the new players, there are a ton of little things to learn, and for the returners, who know this stuff, those little things still need to be executed well,” Mast said. “It is a matter of being consistent across the board.”
He said the culture within the team has carried over and grown even more spiritually encouraging.
“We already have a really good community with the team and the more healthy that community is, the more healthy our team will be,” Mast said.
This season’s alumnae game will be held the weekend of Nov. 13-14, after the conference and regional playoffs but before the Dec. 17-20 USA Ultimate Collegiate National Championships.
By Ted Allen/Staff Writer; Video by Hayden Robertson/Club Sports Video & Media Assistant