By Pat Mariboe
Elm Staff Writer
The Shorewomen, who finished 5-6 overall last season with only one of those wins being in the Centennial Conference, look like a completely different team this year as long time Head Coach Kim Lessard decided to go with a youth approach this season. After a 1-2 start to this season, the team hopes the freshmen can transition smoothly into the college level.
“We are so excited to add nine freshman to the lineup this year,” said Lessard. “We really needed to improve our depth from last year. It allows us to move them around and put up three relays in each meet.”
Along with the incoming freshmen, Lessard also welcomes back her large group of returning swimmers, led by senior captains Emily Goodchild, Alicia Howard, and Ashley Maurizi.
“The upperclassmen have continued to work hard and have showed the freshmen how to get everything done with their lifting, swimming, and school work,” said Lessard. “We have a lot of hardworking, committed student athletes in this program.”
In the first meet of the season against CC opponents Franklin & Marshall College, the Shorewomen succumbed to the Diplomats 179-83. The Shorewomen’s only first place finish of the day came from a victory in the 100 backstroke by freshman Joelle Williamson. It was a big day for the new freshmen swimmers as Katie Gorman finished second in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and Jennifer Clune and Tricia Liller both finished second in their events as well.
“I think the team has done great this year so far,” said Grillo. “We gained major assets in both the men’s and women’s team. We should be able to move up in our overall ranking in the conference.”
“The girls continue to improve each week,” said Lessard. “We are looking forward to our two weeks off after competing in three meets in eight days. We have two meets before the Thanksgiving break and then we’re competing in an invitational in Virginia Dec. 5 and 6. We expect many of the women to score well at that meet and go on to place at the centennial championships in February.”
In their second meet of the season, the Shorewomen faced off against long standing rivals Salisbury University. Clune and sophomore Ellen Maxwell each finished first in both of their events. Gorman won the 50 freestyle and finished second in the 100 freestyle.
The big win of the day came with the first place finish in the 200 meter freestyle relay, led by Williamson, freshman Mackenzie Gaze, freshman Ali Sanders, and senior Alicia Howard. Washington College took the demanding 130-75 victory over the Sea Gulls.
On the team’s performance so far this season, Grillo said, “I think the team has done great this year so far. We gained major assets in both the mens and women’s team. We should be able to move up in our overall ranking in the conference.”
Williamson agreed as she said, “The team has done a great job so far this season,” said Williamson, “the women’s team has had some great competition and although we don’t win all the time, we each push ourselves to swim with top level athletes and make a splash against the competition.”