Story by Joel Poh and Shenn Tan/Red Sports. Photos by Bryan Foo and Shenn Tan/Red Sports
Eunoia Junior College, Saturday, June 4, 2022 — As pouring rain turned into searing heat on their home ground, Eunoia Junior College (EJC)’s ultimate team battled through the elimination stage of the Inter-Junior College (IJC) Ultimate tournament and claimed an 8-2 victory over Catholic Junior College (CJC) in the final to emerge champions for the first time.
“I’m super, super proud of my team, we have trained so hard for this moment,” said Eunoia captain Jervis Soh (#25). “We have made history, and we hope that our future batches will continue our legacy.”
The two teams had met during the tournament’s group stage on 28th May, which EJC won 9-4. CJC was looking to turn it around for this rematch, which was also a historic occasion for the two teams – both were making their first-ever final appearance.
It was a significant moment for CJC captain Frida Nathania (#16), who, despite the loss, was proud of her team’s showing in the tournament.
“We just upgraded from a second CCA to a first CCA, so it was a big year for us,” she explained.
“And to get second place in this IJCs, I think it was something in CJ history. I think it was a statement, since back then people didn’t really take us seriously, so it was a statement to the board and everything.”
On their road to the final, EJC defeated Anderson-Serangoon Junior College in the quarters, then St. Andrew’s Junior College in the semis. Both games were tense encounters, finishing on 4-3 universe points. CJC, meanwhile, overcame Dunman High School 6-5 in their quarter-final before pulling off a huge 4-3 upset over perennially strong contenders Raffles Institution.
Like most of this year’s A Division competitors, training and bonding had been limited by Covid-19 Safe Management Measures. Additionally, the competition’s format was changed from 4v4 to 7v7 – but the teams were only informed of the change one month before the actual tournament.
“We had to quickly adjust to the new format, and we had to get used to playing with each other. It’s very different and it was quite difficult,” said Jervis (EJC #25).
Another challenge was posed by the day’s weather: the heavy morning rain, which had delayed the tournament’s start by an hour, persisted as a drizzle throughout the quarter-finals, bringing layout opportunities on the artificial turf, but also more handling errors.
It then cleared during the semis, but a bit too well – a complete absence of cloud cover meant that the sun was beating down on the players for the rest of the morning. Soaked, then roasted, and worn down from tough battles that had ended no more than 15 minutes prior, CJC and EJC took to the pitch for the final game of the 2022 Inter-JCs.
CJC pulled to start the game, and deployed a zone-and-cup defense strategy with a three-girl, four-boy combination.
Strong pressure from the CJC D-line caused EJC to go for an early-game huck, which was denied by a beautifully-timed sky from Noah Lee (CJC #6). The nimble handler had been playing out of his skin the entire tournament, pulling off the day’s only “Greatest” during his team’s semi-final defeat of RI. Unfortunately, Noah’s jump caused both his legs to cramp, and he was escorted off the field to be attended to by teammates and medics.
Iden Tan (CJC #69), already on the field, took over as a handler. On a break chance, he quickly went for a strike in front of teammate Ethan Neo (CJC #88), who dropped the disc. The EJC O-line, with possession close to their endzone, quickly capitalised on their offensive advantage and scored the first point of the game through Ethan Loh (EJC #10).
Fatigue was catching up with all of the CJC players, and with one of their star players gone, their opponents had an edge over them. The momentum swung, and Eunoia quickly scored another four points through quick strikes and opportunistic hucks. Scores from Isaac Chia (#2) and Bernice Tay (#18) were followed by a double by Mavis Goh (#19), making the score 5-0 to EJC.
It was at this point that Noah returned to the field for CJC, to the applause and cheers of all watching – including EJC players and spectators. He made an immediate impact on the CJ offense, throwing a classy forehand downfield to Ethan Neo (CJC #88), who skied Ashton Ng (EJC #28) for their first point of the final.
Asked to comment about his team’s performance in the game, Eunoia skipper Jervis was quick to acknowledge the hole that Noah had left in the CJ line.
“That’s what encouraged us to get the strong lead,” he said. “But then I think it’s really respectable that they actually still managed to pull through, and despite the guy being injured he still came back and played.”
Noah and Ethan were substituted out at the next point, in order to let them rest. The pair had been CJC’s main handlers for the entire morning, and had formed a good combination with teammate Iden (CJC #69) to help CJC through the tournament.
Fatigue was continuing to build in both teams, and the point stretched as the sides repeatedly turned over the disc. A well-deserved timeout was called, and afterward EJC managed to end the long point through Edison Tan (EJC #21). The score did not change for the rest of the first half, ending 6-1 to EJC.
The half-time break allowed the players to rest, but it was clear the day’s action caught up to them in the process. Both teams’ play became messy, and EJC’s momentum was subdued, to the benefit of CJC – but they could not muster the offensive stamina to close the five-point deficit.
“The tiredness affected us a lot, there was a lot of cramping and that kind of stuff. I guess that’s why we couldn’t give our best performance. But I think we’re still quite proud about it,” said CJC captain Frida.
Both teams played the second half differently — CJC’s O-line deployed a 2-handler, 5-cutter ratio, while the EJC D-line adopted a zone defense strategy. Offense was shaky for the two schools, though, and repeated turnovers again dragged the point.
The handlers on both sides were also trigger-happy with the hucks, but only EJC were able to convert them into points: Iden Tan (CJC #69) could not make the sky on an EJC backhand OI huck, and Wei Hong (EJC #14) picked it up behind him in the endzone. The score thus became 7-1 to EJC.
The hucking continued – and so did the turnovers. EJC nearly scored again through Deon Ang (EJC #15), but were called back for a foul by Noah. Ethan Neo and Iden then combined for a well-read D, and took advantage of the break, quickly scoring through Ian Aw (CJC #15) to bring the scores to 7-2.
Both teams’ error rates climbed as the game began to close out, missed catches and subpar throws making their tiredness apparent. Ethan Neo missed a huck to Iden, and EJC quickly moved the disc downfield from the turnover. A throw down the line was missed by Anoushka Jade Bhandari (CJC #39), but Edison (CJC #21) covered her to score the final point of the match.
Edison (CJC #21) credited his team’s chemistry for their offensive dominance in the final.
“We trust each other very well – we trust each other to get the D, we trust each other to get the O,” he said. “As my coach once said: ‘Don’t be worried to turnover, because we will always get the D back as a team and we’ll play together well.’”
In closing, EJC captain Jervis said: “I want to say thank you to all the supporters, alumni, coach, for helping us throughout the two years. We really will never forget the experience that you gave us, and I feel that our juniors got this; they got it next year.”
In the third/fourth placing match, which was played concurrently with the final, St. Andrew’s Junior College beat Raffles Institution 8-4 to finish in third position.
Inter-Junior College Ultimate Frisbee Championship 2022 Final
Eunoia Junior College vs Catholic Junior College
Score by Half
EJC vs CJC
1st Half: 6-1
2nd Half: 2-1 (8-2)
Ethan Loh Quan Kai (#10) — 1 goal
Chia Le, Isaac (#2) — 1 goal
Bernice Tay Yu Xin (#18) — 1 goal
Mavis Goh Zhe Xian (#19) — 2 goals
Edison Tan Jun Wei (#21) — 2 goals
Gao Wei Hong (#14) — 1 goal
Ethan Neo Sheng Jie (#88) — 1 goal
Aw Jin Kai Ian (#34) — 1 goal
EJC Team Roster
Jervis Soh Jing Yi (#25), Goh Sze Han Matthew (#27), Ashton Ng Juin Kai (#28), Tan Jin En Daniel (#22), Ang Deon (#15), Tan Jun Wei Edison (#21), Loh Quan Kai, Ethan (#10), Chia Le, Isaac (#2), Jeffrey Tiang Jun Rong (#1), Pio Lee (#23), Lee Ren Kai (#11), Wong Kang Lun Ryan (#3), Gao Wei Hong (#14), Winston Mulyadi (#99), Gun Jo Ken (#91), Ariel Dawn Oh (#6), Adelia Binte Ramli (#7), Tay Yu Xin, Bernice (#18), Anoushka Jade Bhandari (#39), Avril Lim Si-Ying (#9), Clarianne Effendi (#33), Kaslyn Neo Kai Xin (#4), Chua Liu Ying (#8), Lydia Yong Yen-Pin (#0), Goh Zhe Xian Mavis (#29), Nicole Sheenlyn Yau (#12), Kristel Koh Xiulin (#34), Ng Xuan Jie (#26)
CJC Team Roster
Anishpalan Prathapan (#4), Cayden Cheo (#1), Chee Yun Huai (#10), Chiew Shi You (#9), Lee Jen Noah (#6), Steward Yeo Xian Bin (#7), Aw Jin Kai Ian (#34), Ethan Neo Sheng Jie (#88), Hsu Chow Yee Elkan (Jersey no. unavailable), Joseph George Low Kai (#12), Nelson Adrian The (#25), Piamthipmanus Kalen (#23), Tan Jian Hua Iden (#69), Kylie Yang Mei Jing (#14), Nathania Frida (#16), Gong Zexin (#2), Hannah Loh Xin Ern (#11), Tan Hui Yi, Bernadette Marie (Jersey no. unavailable), Teh Xue Hui (#27), Wee Sze Chyn Laetisha (#0), Yeow An Ling (#15)
Inter-Junior College Ultimate Frisbee Championship 2022 3rd/4th Placing Match
St. Andrew’s Junior College vs Raffles Institution
SAJC v RI
SAJC Team Roster
Chen Xuan Ling Cadence (#18), Cheyenne Tsng (#88), Faith Ngien Qi Xuan (#5), Faith Soh Jun-Ru (#44), Janelle Ip Yan Ling (#4), Keira Shyanata (#17), Kuan Hui Hi Alyson (#27), Lee Pei Shuen Eryn (#42), Rozene Tsng (#33), Tan Xing Yee Sheryl (#22), Tang Jia Min Thalia (#99), Zenia Foo Kai Qi (#16), Chong Yit Syn Finnian (#23), Dominic Wong Yang Li (#24), Hoong Chee Xian (#11), Jonathan Amadeus Lee Surjadi (#52), Joshua Ng Zhen Yu (#25), Kang Bo Hyun (#26), Leong Jin Liang (#9), Low Ren Sen Ryan (#0), Mayazhagu Pradeep (#19), Ng Choon Kiat, Jerald (#21), Reagan Joe (#20), Tan Hong Yu (# 51), Tan Jeng Khiang Damien (#15), Tan Jun Xi (#1), Zhang Yu (#2)
RI Team Roster
Caden Yew Zhixin (#85), Caleb Lau Han Xiong (#11), Fang Chenyu (#10), Federick Halim (#36), Htut Myat Min (#1), Kee Hong Ming Wesley (#7), Kow Kai En Elijah (#8), Myo Min Thant@Richard (#21), Tay Kai Han (#89), Wang Zicheng (#9), Wang Zining (#68), Zhou Yuhang (# 22), Chia Li-Ann (#25), Chan Tsin Yee Guinevere (#32), Charlene Tay Yu Hui (#18), Chelsea Sew Fan En (#86), Faith Lee Yi Ning (#37), Kelly Tan Shu Min (#18), Krysten Wong Rui Min (#97), Maya Ariana Weiyan Binte Muhammad Khalid (#17), Monieshkaa Kannan (#28), Rebecca Grace Tolentino Tabile (#27), Sara Yong Jing Ann (#2), Zion Seng Zi Ting (#88), Yong Wai Yan Valerie (#15), Chong Wei Yan (#3), Ulrico Nolan Orlando (#0), Tsai Yi Ling, Shavinne (#4)
More photos next page