Macalester Today Fall 2011

Ultimate Spirit


Our women's ultimate frisbee team has a great attitude. The Mac team, known as the Pursesnatchers, won the spirit award at the Division III women's ultimate national tournament in its first-ever trip to that tourney last spring. The Pursesnatchers played five games in Buffalo, N.Y., before winning the coveted award.

Hard work and team camaraderie led to the accomplishment, says team leader Lisa Barnes ’11 "The team definitely became more intense about playing competitive in the past two years," she says. "Because each person worked so hard on her own, we were able to have so much fun at practice."

playersThe successful 2010-11 season included fall tournaments at Grinnell and Carleton Colleges. In the spring, the team competed in a tournament in Georgia, indoor games at the College of St. benedict and the University of Minnesota, and the college championships.

Once the team learned it had qualified for the national tournament, members cobbled together team dues, Frisbee sale proceeds, and club sports funds to pay for the trip. The Pursesnatchers drove to Buffalo— arriving Friday night, playing Saturday and Sunday, and getting home by Monday morning. At nationals the team went 2-3 and hit its goal of placing higher than they’d been seeded going into the weekend.

Winning the spirit award, though, was the most memorable moment. From wearing jumpsuits on the sidelines to doing the limbo after every game, the team’s enthusiasm was clear. After each game, every team ranks its opponent on a five-point scale for spirit, which Barnes defines as knowing the game’s nuances and having a positive attitude both on and off the field. At the tournament’s end, the team with the highest average wins the spirit award.

“We were more psyched about winning the spirit award than we would have been about winning the tournament,” Barnes says. “It summarized the event for us: We played well but had even more fun. No team at nationals laughed as much as we did.”