Archive 2008 - 2019

Holliston Ultimate Vies for D2 State Title

by Matt Varrell

The Holliston High School Ultimate Frisbee team wrapped up its season last weekend at the Division 2 State Tournament, held in Devens, Massachusetts. With a 7-6 regular season, the Panthers entered the tournament as a number four seed, earning a first round bye. The tournament was single-elimination, meaning that as long as you are winning, you advance toward the finals. A loss meant continued play, but in a consolation bracket.

Under improving weather conditions, Holliston played its opening game against Bromfield (from Harvard, MA). Holliston opened its day with a strong point consisting of three quick, accurate throws, resulting in a point by junior Matt Ristaino. Holliston continued its strong play, closing the half with a connection between brothers Nathaniel and Ethan Bagge to make the score 7-3. The second half mirrored the first, with continued strong play by the Panthers and an opportunity for the coaches to rotate in most of the roster, keeping everyone well-rested for the day ahead. Holliston went on to close out Bromfield by a final score of 11-7, as the hard cap horn sounded.

The win over Bromfield sent Holliston into the quarterfinals against local rival Medway. With the crowd of parents and supporting growing on the sidelines, Holliston dominated the first half led by Jesse Zanghi and Peter Georgakopoulos, taking a 7-1 lead. Medway put up some mild resistance in the second half, but the Panthers were too much, taking the match by a final score of 12-5. Holliston was led in the second half by three scores from Corey Cox.

As the day continued and the weather improved, Holliston Ultimate entered the semi-finals against another neighbor, Ashland High School. Ashland had soundly beat Holliston in their two previous regular season match-ups, so it was clear that Holliston had their work cut out for them if they were to reach the finals. Led by a strong group of experienced seniors, Ashland took charge early on and did not look back. At the half, Ashland led by a 7-1 score. Holliston extended several points to make a match of it, but just could not find the end zone, eventually losing by a final score of 13-2. The loss sent Holliston into the consolation bracket to play for third place in the tournament while Ashland advanced to the finals against St. John’s High School.

In their consolation game, Holliston met Xavarian High School. The game began with a similar theme to the way the Ashland game had ended, with Xavarian dominating on both the defensive and offensive ends of the field, opening a quick 5-0 lead. However, the Panthers were not ready to throw in the towel just yet and began to show signs of life as halftime approached. By halftime, Holliston had made progress and were down by a score of 7-4. Holliston asserted itself on the defensive end to open the second half and found the Peter Georgakopoulos twice in the end zone to narrow the score to 7-6. After another defensive stop and a subsequent juggling catch in the end zone by Corey Cox, Holliston had completed the comeback and tied the score at 7-7. After pulling to Xavarian, the hard cap horn blew, meaning that the next point would win the game and the pressure was on. Both teams played extremely strong defense, with each team having chances to take the victory but unable to capitalize. In the end, the Xavarian team finally found a solution to the Holliston defense and scored the winning point to take the victory by a final score of 8-7.

Despite the disappointment of the final game, the Holliston team was pleased to have gone 2?2 on the day, maintaining their number 4 seed and finishing fourth in the state for Division 2. St. John went on to beat Ashland to take the D2 championship. The Holliston Ultimate Frisbee team will graduate five seniors on Sunday, leaving behind a young and experienced team to vie for the title in 2015. Thanks for a great season!