Zeta Beta Tossers break losing streak, but future looks bleak

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Players pause between points at Tuesday night’s game. [Photo by Chaye Gutierrez]

The ominous mood cast over the nighttime Diane Wendt Sports Field by the rolling clouds and stadium lights was only slightly contradicted by belly-shaking laughter from jokes on the sideline and funky “uniforms” of the University of Denver’s Intramural Ultimate Frisbee teams when the Zeta Beta Tossers finally celebrated their first victory of the season against the Ultimate DISCiples 10-6 on Tuesday night.

It was obvious that this was somewhat of a serious game. Both teams had begun the season with a rough start with two losses back-to-back and team members dropping like flies. The May 3 match would break one of their losing streaks and continue it for the other. Both teams came in fighting for a change in their records for the season so far. However, the eccentric outfits of printed leggings and bright t-shirts on both ends of the field, paired with the giggles of players running around, proved that the teams were there to have a good night, too. A win would make it an even better night for one team.

“Oh, this is the worst the league,” said an Ultimate DISCiples player from the sideline almost immediately after the initiate play. That same play allowed for a point for the Ultimate DISCiples within the first 15 seconds of the match.

The Zeta Beta Tossers fought back with a vengeance, sending the disc soaring down the field to star player Kelby Johnson, who earned the team’s first point almost immediately after that of the Ultimate DISCiples’. It was clear from the first few minutes of the match that it would be a nail biter. Luckily, Johnson had her eyes on the prize, and her teammates took notice.

“Kelby is the only person on our team that’s actually any good,” said DU freshman and Zeta Beta Tossers player Mareka Tsongas. Her clever movement on the field and quick feet are a critical asset to the team, as Johnson scored four out of the team’s 10 points. Through it all, Johnson stays humble.

“I like playing, but I don’t really think I’m any good,” she said. Her performance in the match, however, points to the contrary.

At the 30-minute mark, halfway through the match, it was still anyone’s game. The Ultimate DISCiples trailed behind the Zeta Beta Tossers by two points, but the players on both sides remained relatively confident, or simply uninterested. While Ultimate DISCiples coaches kicked a soccer ball back and forth on the sideline while joking around, Zeta Beta Tossers coach Avery Cederstrand encouraged players from the endzone and called out directions to his team.

“Block bucket hat,” Cederstrand said, referring to the Ultimate DISCiples player decked out in a fishing hat commonly referred to as a “bucket hat.”

His coaching could have been what led to the team’s ultimate success, as the match produced a clear winner with plenty of time left to play. The Zeta Beta Tossers held a three-point lead by the 50-minute mark with a score of 9-6, and the outcome looked grim for the Ultimate DISCiples. In the last 10 minutes of the game, Johnson fought hard to score her team’s tenth goal and break their losing streak.

Thanks to their MVP, the Zeta Beta Tossers were lucky enough to clinch this victory, but the team’s overall strength looks dire for the matches to come.

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One thought on “Zeta Beta Tossers break losing streak, but future looks bleak

  1. I loved this story! The showing and not telling of the whole this was awesome, especially the opening paragraph, which just pulled me in completely. For a sport I do not follow or known much about, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time while reading this, just waiting to know the final score. Well written and well done!

    Like

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