Competing against Canada’s top university-level ultimate teams, the Torontula women’s team earned the title of national champions after winning their second gold medal in three years. Torontula was victorious at the Canadian University Ultimate Championship (CUUC), that took place from October 16-18.
Torontula entered this year’s CUUC with a tradition of success in both the open and women’s division. Between 2006 and 2008, the Torontula open team won three consecutive CUUC gold medals, followed by a gold medal finish by the women’s team in 2013. Torontula’s gold medal in 2013 gave veteran players on this year’s women’s team high expectations for the season. Women’s team co-captain and chemical engineering master’s student Samantha ‘Cheto’ Cheung said, “Our main goal was to 100 per cent win gold at Nationals, as is our goal most years. We definitely thought we had a good chance at winning this year just by looking at who was on the team, who we knew were playing for the other teams, and the fact that we also won two years ago.” Following a dominant 3-0 performance in pool play, Torontula defeated Dalhousie by a score of 15-2 as well as beating Queen’s in a 12-5 victory to reach the CUUC final.
In the final, Torontula defeated McGill by a margin of 11-5, but according to Cheto, the game felt much closer than the score implies. “We started the final with a small lead,” said Cheto, adding, “but while playing the game, I had no idea what the score was. We fought hard for every single point, it felt like the game was very close the entire time.”
The team’s depth, explained Cheto, was also instrumental in Torontula overwhelming McGill in the final. “I think the main advantage that our team had this year was how deep our roster was,” she said, adding that the number of veteran players- on the team was a definite bonus.
In the open division, Torontula completed pool play with a 2-1 record, losing only to the eventual champions Queen’s University. In a rematch, Torontula faced Queen’s in the semifinal, where they lost in a tight 14-12 game. Following this, the Torontula open team fell to Western during the third place match, with a score of 15-11 to take fourth place overall.
Although the University of Toronto does not have a varsity ultimate frisbee team, many universities across Ontario have added ultimate frisbee to their varsity rosters. Torontula hopes to join the Western and Queen’s utimate teams as an official designated varsity team, but according to Cheto, the prospect of this happening is still many years off. “Our team discusses being Varsity every year,” said Cheto, adding that the next time the team will be eligible to contend for varsity status is in another four to five years. Her spirits remain high, however, “we hope in the near future we can establish our team as a varsity sport in order to be more recognized for the hard work and representation that we give to the university as well as to better establish ultimate frisbee as a real sport.”