Club Spotlight: The Army of Darkness
Issue   |   Tue, 02/04/2014 - 23:21
Photo Courtesy to Fred Shipley '13
Amherst will look to build off of last season's semi-final appearance at nationals last season with a strong showing this weekend in California.

The men’s Ultimate Frisbee team enters their spring season not only one of the top teams in the Northeast, but also in the country. They will look to prove that they belong this weekend as they travel to sunny Southern California to compete in a tournament in Riverside against other top Div. III teams.

A successful fall season saw the Army of Darkness participate in a number of tournaments, including ones at both Yale and Saratoga. Amherst fared well in both tournaments as, winning a number of their games. During the fall, they also played UMass Amherst and UVM in close competitions.

As they leave for California, Amherst will look to validate their no. 1 national rank by Ultiworld and no. 6 ranking in Skyd Magazine, respectively.

“Our expectations are pretty high going into California. We believe that we can be the best team in Division III and that we can impress ourselves at nationals,” said junior captain Andrew Edelman.

Amherst will face tough competition in the tournament as two top 15 teams, Puget Sound and Carleton, are in the Army of Darkness’ opening pool.

The 13th-ranked Puget Sound Postmen entered the season as the second-ranked team in Div. III, according to Ultiworld, and will look to improve on a strong fall season and unseat an Amherst team that is ranked just ahead of them.

Carleton, a perennial power in Ultimate Frisbee, opens the season at no. 9 in the open division. Winners of the 2009 and 2011 national championships, Carleton will look to use this tournament as a stepping stone to their third national championship in five seasons.

Amherst hopes to advance out of the opening round, where they could potentially face two top ten teams from the other side of the bracket.

The tournament will provide the Army of Darkness a great opportunity to start of the spring season with momentum against top competition, “that all starts in California because of the high level of competition,” said Edelman.

This will be the first cross-country trip for the Army of Darkness as they secured funding from the AAS to pay for both the tournament fee and for hotel runs.

Despite the AAS funding, the Amherst men are still bearing the brunt of the costs.

“We have been doing alumni fundraising, but again, the costs are mainly being paid for directly by the guys on the team, which makes this tournament a huge commitment,” said Edelman.

As the team departs for the warmth of California, they will look to capitalize on an opportunity to prove themselves as one of the best teams in the country and in a position to make a statement when they travel to nationals later this spring.