CRLS Girls Ultimate Frisbee Team in the State Championships

Isabelle Larabee, Contributing Writer

On June 4th and 5th, the fledgling CRLS girls ultimate frisbee team finished their season at the 2022 Massachusetts Ultimate Frisbee State Championships. The team, coached by Erik Sebesta, was without six of their 16 players, but still had strong performances against top Division 1 teams.

“Ultimate [frisbee] can help girls become amazing athletes, but also leaders and contributors to society”

Their first game against Somerville was an exciting start to the tournament. First, a 2-1 lead for Cambridge, then a 6-4 lead at halftime by Somerville until Cambridge rallied to tie it back up at 7-7. But in spite of the comeback from Cambridge, the game ended in a hard-fought 8-7 loss.
In their next game against Needham, who ended up going on to win the tournament, Cambridge was initially up 4-1. Lucca Olivet ’25 recorded diving catches, Charlotte Younger ’25 shielded Needham offense, and Amy Zhou ’24 was a key player in connecting passes up the field. Despite these efforts, however, the game ended with a score of 10-6 in favor of the opponent.
Regardless of their losses, the team pushed right back and finished the weekend on a victorious note with a 9-4 win against Northampton JV. It was a full team effort from the CRLS squad and overall an impressive showing at their first State Championships.
Coach Sebesta reflected in his write-up to the team, “With only nine healthy players, we did quite well. Every game was competitive.” The team finished 5th place in their division out of seven with a record of 6-5-1. With aspirations to continue improving next season, this encouraging result will certainly keep the momentum going. Coach Sebesta continued, “We also went 2-1 against D1 teams, which bodes well for the future.”
The CRLS Ultimate team is a rare example of a sports team without a male counterpart at CRLS. According to the Girls Ultimate Movement, a program designed to increase girls’ participation in the sport, ultimate frisbee is primarily played by male-identifying people. This new, successful team is certainly a prime example of the promising changes being made in our community to provide more competitive athletic environments for girls in sports.
The Girls’ Ultimate Movement also states on their website that “with its emphasis on Spirit of the Game and tenets of equity and inclusiveness, ultimate [frisbee] can help girls become amazing athletes, but also leaders and contributors to society.” With regards to their hard-fought, competitive, and enthusiastic performance no matter the setbacks, the CRLS Ultimate team is nothing short of fitting this description. Coach Sebesta even detailed that after the team’s first loss in the tournament, “we kept our spirit up.”
As the ultimate frisbee season is over, the team will surely miss their wonderful seniors, Sabrina Shing and Mikaela Lavandero. To stay updated on the team’s successes in the future, follow them on Instagram: @crlsultimate.
If there’s anything to take away from this team’s season, it’s their passion for the game, hard work on and off the field, and their teamwork and respect for each other. As said by the CRLS Athletics’ social media account, “Congrats team on a great inaugural season.”

This piece also appears in our June 2022 print edition.