[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Cornell University
Team Name: Wild Roses
Captains: Jackie Booth, Amelia Murphy, Kelsey Cowles
Coach: Darden Pitts
Colors: Red and White
2010 Record: 49-13
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with ultimate at Cornell?
Jackie Booth: Ultimate has been one of those things that runs in my family. Tiina Booth actually started the [Wild Roses] team here at Cornell in 1980. I started playing ultimate when I was younger with Tiina during the summer then I played all four years of high school at Andover High School. It was really great to arrive at Cornell and have a good, established team for me to join and learn from. I have grown so much as a player since I have been here.
How did the Wild Roses do last year and what was the highlight of your season?
Jackie: Our team came in 5th last year at Regionals. In terms of our season highlights, I would say winning Yale cup over Middlebury who we have lost two games to previously in the season was really great. It felt like everything we had been working for was coming together. Winning our section over Ottawa, who we hadn’t beat in several years, was also a highlight for our team.
Tell us what your coach and captains bring to your team.
Jackie: Darden joined our team this fall and we are really excited to have him. Last year our team was coached by the captains, and as one of the captains, I have so much more respect for the players/captains who coach their team every year. It was much harder to balance being a player/captain/coach/friend than I expected it would be. With Darden as a new coach, the captains can really focus on being the best players and role models for the team. It is exciting for me to arrive at practice everyday and know my only job is to work really hard. Darden is from Amherst and has a lot of experience both as a player and a coach. He pushes us to work hard everyday and has a great vision for the direction of the team. Everyone is very excited to have him coach us this year.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan or All-Region
Jackie: Both myself and my Co-captain Kelsey were second string All-Region last year. I think Sterling Dumas should be someone to watch for this spring as well. Our freshman last year (now sophomore), Hannah Boone will be someone to watch out for in a year or two for All-region and Callahan. I think that Kelsey is an obvious All-region/Callahan pick. She is an amazing player. She played in high school as well and is quick, aggressive and has some of the best pulls and hucks in the region.
Any potential Freshmen of the year?
Jackie: We have four amazing freshmen this year which is extremely exciting for us. Sarah Zhao played in high school at Stuy and is an excellent handler. She is also quick and a tight defender. But I wouldn’t be surprised if our three other freshman were also huge for us this year. All of them are extremely athletic and are picking up the game faster than any other new players I have seen.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower?
Jackie: Kelsey Cowles, Sterling Dumas and myself are the big throwers on our team.
As a receiver?
Jackie: Hannah Boone and Andrea (Tree) Bowring are our two big receivers. I feel like I am giving you the inside scoop, but I think their height gives both of them away.
Jackie: In terms of defense, we have several girls who will shut big players on other teams down, Xenia Rudenko, Alyson Brokaw, and Amelia Murphy.
Jackie: I think what is great about our big D players is they are not trying to bait a D, they just play tight shutdown defense. Our goal is to stall the other team because it means that each person on the field shutdown their woman. Anna (Spork) Carroll, Elle Glenny and Rebecca Velez are very aggressive players helping us on both D and O. I also think we have to give a lot of credit to our secondary handlers. Their job is to be 100% consistent getting open on the dump and swinging the disc. While they don’t put up big hucks, they touch the disc a lot and are depended on for our offense to work. Jennine Ropke, Sarah Zhao and Anna (Beans) Woodford, Jacqueline Schriber, Anna (Blaze) Blasiak, and Veronica Pillar will be crucial for us to succeed.
How do the Roses bring new players up to speed on ultimate?
Jackie: This year, Darden has focused on throwing and catching fundamentals and scrimmaging. Instead of overwhelming our new players with plays and different offenses and defenses, he really tries to teach them by giving them time to play.
Have the Wild Roses set any goals for this season? What are they?
Jackie: We are going to re-establish goals for the spring in January. But I know that the team is ready to make a statement on a national level.
Last year our goals for the spring were: 1. Have fun, 2. Improve individually and as a team, 3. Play one game to the best of our ability.
What have the Wild Roses been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Jackie: In the fall, we practice 3 days and go to 3-4 tournaments. The fall is for teaching, working on fundamentals and developing as a team. The spring is for fitness, honing in our skill set and perfecting our game.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Jackie: We go to one “flying” tournament in February. In the past we have gone to Vegas or Pres day. We really enjoy getting outside and out of the snow for the weekend. In March, we typically go to two tournaments in the south around our spring break. In the past we have gone to terminus, southerns, and Wilmington 8’s. Then we usually have one tournament in our area before going into the series. Philly classic or Yale cup.
What gets you pumped up for a big game?
Jackie: Everyone has certain habits they do before big games. Some people like to rock out to music, others like to sit and focus internally, and some like to salsa dance. We then bring it in as a team and pump each other up, do a cheer that gets us jumping and yelling and then play the game point by point.
What is the club team to play for in your area?
Jackie: Ithaca is really hard for club teams. We recommend that people play Club when they are home over the summer. I played for Bent two years ago, Sterling played for District 5 this past summer. Many of our players who stay in Ithaca play for a local mixed team. The past two years it has been called Bermuda, before that it was called Magoozy.
What is your favorite cheer?
Jackie: I brought “Boom” back from Bent. It is definitely our go to pump up cheer before games.
Which team has the best shot at winning the 2011 USA Ultimate College Championships?
Jackie: Teams change every year and it is hard to say who will end up on top at the end of the spring. Since two of my best friends are the captains of Wisconsin, I would say they will be fighting for the top. Oregon will probably be close. But don’t be surprised if you see an underrated team fighting for that win as well (read: Cornell).