Many sports on campus at Bridgewater State have been getting fairly far into their respective seasons, but one sport in particular just getting started. The BSU competitive swim & dive team officially starts its season later this month with a match against Clark University on October 30th, though an exhibition match of the 9th Annual Michael Arsenault Memorial Relays will take place on the 16th. While the team has been kept from the competition for almost a year and a half, sophomore women’s backstroke swimmer Alex Molinari has said the team is ready to shake off the rust and claim the Little East Conference championship for the first time in Bears history. “Not having competed over 500 days has an impact on your body. With that being said, we’re all driven and excited to be back in the pool and working out,” said Molinari.
In terms of the strengths of the team, head coach Michael Caruso, who is in his 10th year with the Bears, has noted the depth of each squad, as well as the leadership and competitive drive of everyone on the team. A year long hiatus hasn’t seemed to have taken much out of the team, as Caruso also commented on the fact that a lot of the members have been keeping themselves prepared for the upcoming season. While a captain has not been named as of now, camaraderie and collective leadership seems to also be a strong suit among the swimmers. Molinari explains that the team is “really good at listening to each other and advocating for what we need.” In an individual sport such as swimming, many of the personnel seem to be intent on putting the team above all else, with Caruso stating that it’s a team-first program. No matter who gets selected as captain, there’s no reason to suggest it won’t be a selection the whole team will be happy about.
The main goal of this year’s Bear’s swim team is ultimately to win the Little East Conference Championship for the first time in school history. “It is no secret we have not won a championship in 51 years and that’s on everyone’s bucket list,” says Caruso. For the regular season, every match for the Fall 2021 semester is a home match, starting with the aforementioned Clark University on the 30th. November will be host to 4 matches, against Gordon, Roger Williams, Stonehill, and Wheaton, the 6th will be against Gordon, the 13th will be against Roger Williams. The Bears will then host a Tri-Match with Stonehill and Wheaton. The first half of the season will end with an invitational match on December 4th. The Spring 2022 semester will see the Bears going on the road in January against Keene State, Brandeis, Babson, Bentley. The Bears will participate in a tri-match at Keene State which also includes Brandeis on the 22nd, Babson’s match will be the 26th, and Bentley’s match will be the 29th. Eastern Connecticut State will round out the end of the season on February 5th. From there, the Little East Conference Championships will be held in Wellesley from February 20th to the 22nd. After a year away from the pool, everyone seems eager to take the season head-on and bring home victory for Bridgewater State.