Patterson said the annual meet against Notre Dame Academy is one of four meets he circles on his calendar every season, guaranteed to be close finishes.
Also circled each year are the meets against Bishop Stang, Westwood, and Bishop Feehan. Last season, the Bears found themselves on the losing end of each meet and this season was headed in the same direction until Thursday, as these four meets were packed in as the opening four meets of Ursuline’s season.
“It’s huge because the Southern Conference is very strong,” Patterson said. “Our first four meets are the biggest meets of the year.”
Patterson was initially nervous when he saw the schedule for the first time, not knowing how his team would react to having a difficult opening to the season. But after Thursday, he now sees the schedule as a blessing in disguise.
“I was concerned with how our attitude would be going in, if we would be ready,” Patterson said. “It went a lot better than I expected it to be.”
The Bears fell to both Bishop Stang and Westwood in their first two meets, losing by six points, but were tied heading into the last race, the 4x400 freestyle relay. In both meets, the relay team lost by less than a second.
While it would be easy to be disappointed after opening a season 0-2 with two close finishes, Patterson said his team has taken it as a positive. One of the Bears senior captains, Marina Fagone told him, “even though we are losing, it felt like we were winning.”
“All I care about is that whatever else happens, the fact that my team has that attitude is great,” Patterson said.
Thursday’s win will provide momentum for the Bears, as they prepare to face Bishop Feehan on Tuesday at Dedham Pool.
“Those are the four teams that beat us last year, this year we were a lot closer to those teams,” Patterson said. “This year we are pretty confident our record will be better [than last season].”
The Bears are improving all around, as they have had more girls qualify for the state sectional meet already this season than did all of last season. Those personal triumphs are the goals Patterson sets for his swimmers.
“My goal is for our girls to at some point in the season, have their best swim, rather than any win-loss record,” Patterson said. “It was really rewarding to see that today.”
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- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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