Team History

Carnegie Mellon University Women's Ultimate

The history of women's ultimate at CMU goes back over a decade. The very first CMU women's team, Red Emma, was formed in 1988. At the time, there were less than 20 women's teams competing nation wide. When she was tired of only practicing with the men's team, captain Bonnie Jacobson helped to gather women to join her on one of the first college women's teams in the country. They went on to compete at the college championships that very first year.

Since then, there have been a variety of different women's teams at Carnegie Mellon. For the next 4 years after Red Emma was formed, Carnegie Mellon women continued to compete against growing competition. More than 10 new women's teams were formed nation wide in those first 4 years. During this time, the team went through a few name changes. At one point, the team competed as "Akbar and Jeff," with the slogan "Nice Fez!" The name came about because the founder/captain of the women's team was dating the captain of the Men's team, whose name was Jeff (a cultural reference to a Matt Groeing cartoon called "Life in Hell"). That team was around for a while and supposedly did quite well; it is rumored that they even went to nationals. However, recruitment dwindled, and by Fall 1996 there was only one player - a 5th year senior - who remained on the team.

Then Paula Pfleiger, Anne Ray, and Roxanne (from Dusquesne) arrived on the scene, bringing their love for ultimate with them. They practiced with the CMU men's team and scraped together whoever they could for tournaments. They combined teams with University of Michigan at an Oberline tourney, and with the then-fledgling Bucknell team at a Halloween tournament. In the Spring of 1998, Paula, Joy, and Roxanne traveled with the men's team to a spring break tournament in Terminus, Atlanta. There they joined a team captained by a former member of the CMU Women's team who played for Akbar and Jeff from 1991-94.

By Fall 1998, the CMU women's team had nine members and traveled as "Little Miss Naughty." This team name was a play on "Mr. Yuk" (the Fordham men's team) and was originally suggested in a cheer that the women who played with Mr. Yuk were "naughty girls." The team still was not "official," however, as the roster included several players who were not college eligible, or attended Dusquesne.

In the summer of 1999, the "college girls" from the Pittsburgh summer league - Rachel and Dana Kalowsky from Pitt, Michelle Thompson from Duquesne, and Paula Pfleiger from CMU - decided to form a joint team to compete in the fall club series and in the spring college series. University of Pittsburgh's Mens' team was finally getting off the ground which meant there were finally a few more women playing at Pitt. The united women's team traveled as "PDC" which stood for Pittsburgh, Duquesne, CMU (although the meaning of the acronym was kept secret, which led to much amusing speculation). That year, the first "women's only" practice alternated between the CMU Cut and the Pitt quad. The team decorated t-shirts with the infamous slogan "Bite Me" because one day at practice, Paula told everyone at practice to stop "apologizing" when they made a bad throw. Instead of saying "I'm sorry," she told them to say "bite me!" PDC finally had enough players to travel to quite a few tourneys, but because of their hybrid status, the college series wouldn't recognize them as an official entrant for college sectionals. They traveled to club sectionals that year though, marking the first time the team had competed in sectionals since the defunct Akbar and Jeff.

Realizing that without a joint competitive venture neither Pitt nor CMU would ever get a women's team off the ground, PDC petitioned the UPA to compete as a joint team. The previous criterion for a joint team was that the two schools had to share academics, campuses, and athletic facilities (such as Haverford/Swathmore). Pitt/CMU did not meet this criterion - they shared academic credits, professors, some classes, and shared buildings, but Pitt athletics and CMU athletics didn't even compete in the same division, much less together. However, with the help of Henry Thorne, who was then a board member of UPA, PDC convinced the UPA to grant them provisional status in order to "encourage the development of Women's ultimate". PDC had 4 years of provisional status as a joint team before the teams would be required to compete separately.

In the fall of 2000 the official Pitt/CMU team competed together. Kristen Lutomski from Pitt and Fay Shaw from CMU took over leadership of the team in Fall 2001 and helped get the team off the ground, and the team name was changed to "Pansy". This was so that when they started beating the best teams around, their competitors would say "How did we lose to a bunch of Pansies!?" In 2001, the joint team was first able to compete in college sectionals.

In the last year of their consortium, the CMU and Pitt sides of the team decided to take a break from each other. The idea was to grow their respective teams before the UPA forced them to fly solo. The Pitt women formed Danger, and CMU went back to its roots and formed Little Miss Naughty. That fall, the two teams struggled to grow, and decided to join forces once again in the spring of 2005. Together they made it to Metro East regionals, and broke seed in their final tournament together.

In the fall of 2005, the remaining 4 women players at CMU made it their mission to find new recruits in order to keep the team alive. With some hard work, lots of fun times, and a lot of luck, they were able to add 22 girls to the team's roster. Being that it was the first time since 1992 that CMU would have its own team, they decided to adopt a new name to go along with this new chapter of women's ultimate at CMU. And with that, the Money Mellons were born.

Money Mellons had a very successful first season - placing 2nd to their old partners in crime (Pittsburgh's Danger) at Skylander in the fall, breaking seed at college sectionals in the spring, and gaining lots of experience along the way. With close to 20 girls returning for the teams second year, and a handful of new recruits coming in, the Money Mellons managed to make it to Metro East Regionals in the spring of 2007.

The next two years were not as successful in terms of retaining recruits, but the team had a lot of fun and made it to regionals again the spring of 2009.  Unfortunately over a line's worth of our players graduated in 2009 so recruiting is vitally important in fall 2009.  If you love ultimate or you want to try playing with some of the most fun girls at CMU please send us an email so we can be sure you know when practice is!


Past TeamRankWinsLossesYear
Red Emma(no record)1988
Little Miss Naughty16/20451989
Little Miss Naughty10/24751990
Little Miss Naughty15/251291991
Little Miss Naughty19/32311992
PDC(no record)1998
PDC(no record)1999
PDC(no record)2000
Pansy(no record)2004
Pansy/Little Miss Naughty(no record)2005
Money Mellons156/2125152006
Money Mellons92/23015162009