[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Saint Louis University
Team Name: SLULU
Captains: Kathleen Horton, Amanda Richers, Elizabeth Honigfort
Coaches: Kevin McGinnis, Conrad Ramos
Year Founded: 2001
Jersey Colors: SLU Blue and White
2010 Record: 9-13
How did you get involved with Ultimate at SLU?
Kathleen Horton: Both Amanda and I began our sophomore year as our friends dragged us to the meetings. We were interested in playing a sport again, but knew nothing about ultimate. After the first practice, we were hooked.
Who is your favorite team to play against?
Amanda Richers: In our past two tournaments, we’ve played Northwestern three times. Each game was hard fought and spirited. There were no hard feelings at the end of any of the games and each team played their heart out. After our first meeting, we ended the day with a game of Miniature Tanks! After our third meeting, we took a family photo!
How did SLULU do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Kathleen and Amanda: Last year, we placed 9th in the South Region. We spent a lot of time rebuilding our team and teaching the game of ultimate to several new players. The highlight of our season was probably during Chicago Invite last year when Carly Ferstle made whiskers out of the mud created by the sleet and rain.
What do your coaches bring to the table?
Amanda: Our coaches, Kevin and Conrad, SLU Ultimate alums, come to all of our practices willing to work with each player individually as well as the team as a whole. They always have an answer to our questions and help us work through tactics and strategy. They contribute drills and ideas to help improve our team.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Kathleen: While I often look for the deep throws, Michaela Ward has been clutch with her break throws and strong forward movement. She is growing into a composed and confident handler. On both offense and defense, Laura Kelly can always be found near the disc, making hard cuts, working the disc up the field, or skying her opponent in the endzone.
It’s easy to see when someone throws a huge huck or gets a layout D. Who’s a player you have to watch more carefully to see how valuable she is to your team?
Kathleen: On our scrappy SLULU team, there are several players with hidden talent. Colleen Mathews, however, seems to stand out the least with her short and far from intimidating statue. However, she always comes up with the big D no matter her opponent’s size. Quick and intuitive, she almost always beats her opponent to the disc when we need it the most.
Kathleen and Amanda: We practice every week introducing parts of the game as we go along. We make sure to bring the rookies to as many fall tournaments as possible and integrate them into the ultimate community that we know and love.
Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Kathleen: Our team plays a somewhat unconventional game. We use our athleticism and knowledge of the game to score points off of hard defense. Our team puts a lot of heart into the defense coming up with clutch D’s that create opportunities for the offense.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which are you most looking forward to?
Kathleen: Our team plans to attend Midwest Throwdown, Chicago Invite, and hopefully a few others. We look most forward to Throwdown because it’s in St. Louis! We love playing at home so our friends and family can come watch!
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Amanda: In the past, the spirit of the game was upheld by teams through songs and cheers at the end of each game. This became a tradition in the SLULU community while it seemed to fizzle out amongst other teams. It is one of our favorite components of the game and we work hard to keep that tradition alive. Each tournament, we try to sing new songs and keep the spirit of ultimate alive. We always have our boombox with a fresh Mix CD ready for warm up. To prepare for a big game, we like to play some of our favorite songs, and then boogie down to our traditional “SLULU, SLULU, Are you ready?!” cheer. It always gets us loose and excited to play a tough game.
Which team has the best shot at winning the 2011 USA Ultimate Women’s College Championships?
Kathleen and Amanda: Colorado.