Varsity Ultimate Team Wins Second Straight NEPSUL Championship

The Williston Varsity Ultimate team repeated as New England Prep School Ultimate League champions with a commanding weekend at MacDuffie School, going 4-0 in the weekend tournament to capture its second straight trophy.

The Wildcats, who also won the Middletown Tournament in April and have not tasted defeat in 2023, secured the title with 10-8, come-from-behind win over Hotchkiss in the championship match.

“In the first three games, we asserted ourselves and played as the physically dominant team that we are, playing clean, efficient Ultimate,” Head Coach Teddy Schaffer said. “To start the finals, we played OK, but things just weren’t going our way.”

Williston entered the NEPSUL Championships as the No. 1 seed and with six wins against other tournament-qualified teams. The Division I tournament was split into two pools of four teams, with the top team in each pool advancing to the championship match. In pool play, Williston won 13-4 over Northfield Mount Hermon (the third win over NMH this year), 13-8 against Choate, and 13-3 against Wooster.

In the championship game, Williston found itself in another rematch. Earlier this year, the Wildcats beat Hotchkiss 9-8 in a close, tough game. Despite Williston’s overall record and solid play all weekend, it was Hotchkiss that came out as the stronger of the two sides, going up 4-0 early and 7-3 at halftime. But as the wind picked up at the break, Williston’s athleticism did also. With a renewed intensity and focus, the Wildcats scored seven of the eight goals in the second half, rallying all the way back for the 10-8 win.

“It’s tough being the No. 1 seed and expecting to win. At halftime, the group stayed calm, focusing on positives and where to improve,” Schaffer said. “I was impressed that throughout the game, we were rarely negative to each other or blaming things on our own team. Of course, we were frustrated, but we stayed together. Once momentum started building, the mentality changed.”

Alex Hall-Witt ’23 threw 35 of the team’s 48 goals on the weekend, and has 136 for the entire year. Ricardo Nieves ’25 caught 15 goals during the tournament, while Weston Reardon ’24 had 12. Perry Gaudreau ’23, Atticus Rudof ’23, Noah Kooistra ’23, Will Chalfant ’23, Gunnar Tebo ’23 and Andrew Yu-Hwang ’23 played in all four games and rounded out Williston’s top 9 players.

The Wildcats have two more games left to round out the season, including a showdown Thursday with Amherst-Pelham Regional High School, one of the top public high school teams in the country.