The women’s swim team is off to a fast start this season.
“We’re hoping for a great season and a great Little Eastern Conference meet,” head coach Jack Fabian said. “We’ve got a great culture here and great girls.”
So far, the team hasn’t disappointed. They started the season by blowing Bridgewater State and Roger Williams University out of the water at home on October 26, a win Fabian admitted he didn’t expect.
“We thought the women would be close, we hadn’t had any times yet and Roger Williams looked good,” Fabian said. “Roger Williams had gotten some of the kids we were recruiting this offseason so we were a little worried.”
Junior Taylor DaSilva said hosting the dual-meet gave the team an advantage.
“They had to come here, which was nice because it was on our turf,” DaSilva explained.
Their next meet was on November 1 against Division I Boston College. Going against a team two divisions higher than them and twice the size, the Lady Owls held their own, winning five events.
“We ended up losing [the Boston College meet], but their D-one so I think we did well,” junior Caitlyn Shea said. “As a team, we were really confident going in.”
Shea said self-confidence has been a focus for the team all year.
“Staying positive is definitely something big for our team and working hard throughout practice, knowing it’s going to bring you somewhere in the end,” Shea said.
A big part of maintaining that confidence are the team captains, seniors Stephanie Murray and Nicole Rutigliano. DaSilva said the captains have been great this year.
“They’ve done really well, we know they’re there for us, and they’re always there directing us and getting us ready for meets,” DaSilva said. “They’ve done a great job.”
With only four seniors on this year’s roster, most people would assume immaturity was an issue. DaSilva, however, thinks the team’s mind-set has improved since last season.
“I feel like we’re more goal-oriented, we got together and set goals for ourselves collectively and we’ve been more focused,” DaSilva said. “Last year we had a couple bumps in the road, but we lived and learned and we’re more focused in and out of the pool this year.”
Coach Fabian, who has worked with his captains to help guide the mindset of his team, agreed with DaSilva’s assessment.
“I think they’re more mature, we had a large freshman class last year and it usually takes kids a while to decide if they want to devote themselves to swimming, and they’re so committed,” Fabian said.
“They’re talented kids, the culture is different because their operating up a level in terms of how they’re approaching the season. They’re making social sacrifices to swim better,” he said.
Fabian admitted that his team’s relay starts needed some work, but also noted that could be a result of the heavy lifting the team does early every year.
Beyond the team said they should be strong in all of their individual events. After winning both the LEC and the New England meets last year, expectations for 2013 are sky- high.
“[The LEC and NEC meets] are our two biggest goals, so we’ll try to go out there and do our best and try to win every event,” Shea said.
Coach Fabian has another goal for his team.
“Obviously we want kids to get to the postseason and the NCAA’s, but also we just want them to enjoy themselves,” Fabian said.
Of course that’s easier to do when you’re wiping the floor with your opponents.
Zach Winn can be contacted at email@example.com