By Patrick Mariboe
Elm Staff Writer
The Shorewomen started off their season on the right foot this Sunday over Gwynedd Mercy when the lone goal scored by sophomore midfielder Kelsey McCurdy guaranteed the team their first win of the season. The team, led by first year Coach Kerry Smith, has been training hard this preseason to prepare themselves for a tough season ahead.
“We’ve been looking forward to this game since Aug. 15,” said senior captain and forward Marisa Atkins, who missed all of last season with an injury.
“The injury,” she said, “is not something I think about much anymore. This season has so much promise to it that the only thing I’ve done since I began training this summer is focus on what needs to be accomplished, not what’s passed.”
The first half was an even one, as both sides focused more on moving the ball around the field while still getting acclimated to the 92 degree weather that even made some of the bystanders in the stands sweat. The half ended with the Shorewomen picking out some good passes and increasing their goal scoring chances in front of net, but there was no breakthrough yet.
After halftime, senior forward Suzanne Patinella had another great chance as a curled shot from right outside the 18-yard box forced the Gwynedd Mercy goalie to make a great diving save. The Shorewomen kept pressing forward, until when only a few minutes later, freshman midfielder Emani Silva picked out a pinpoint pass down the wing to sophomore midfielder Erin Smedley. Smedley beat her defender down the end line and was then taken down by the goalkeeper in the penalty area. The referee blew his whistle, and the Shorewomen were given a penalty shot. All the pressure was on McCurdy as she stepped up to the spot and slotted the penalty home into the bottom left corner, giving the team a 1-0 lead with 30 minutes to go.
“Right now, we will take it one game at a time, but ultimately we’re working as a whole towards improving the program and setting new standards for the upcoming, as well as future seasons,” Atkins said. “I have no doubt that we will accomplish that; we’ve already started to amongst ourselves.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Melissa Barry wasn’t forced to make a single save throughout the duration of the match.