By Bridget Letukas
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/17/11
To call Swarthmore junior defender Maddie Williams one busy woman would be an understatement.
The All-Centennial Conference Academic Honoree, majoring in history with a minor in political science, is likely to fill her share of memo tablets as she checks off her daily “to-do” list.
Prepare to research thesis – check. Volunteer to participate in mock trials within the Chester School District – check. Write, proofread, and fact-check for the Swarthmore Alumni magazine – check. Play two sports while maintaining a Thomas B. McCabe Scholarship – check. Don’t forget training to be Resident Assistant – check. Attend DART (Drug & Alcohol Resource Team) – check.
Still, the industrious Williams finds time to curl up and read – a lot.
“I really love to read. I really like Harry Potter. I’ve read them all multiple times,” said the Kennett High alum and Phillylacrosse Collegiate Scholar-Athlete of the Week.
”It’s kind of embarrassing,” she adds. “I’m a huge nerd, just in general.”
Centennial opponents may not think so. Williams joins an upstart Garnet squad looking to battle its way into conference playoffs this May. Swarthmore is 8-5 overall and 2-4 in the conference.
“We’re kind of in a transition year for sure,” said Williams, who hails from Kennett Square, which, she points out, is the Mushroom Capital of the World. “We’ve gotten some great new talent. In the past, we have been written off, but we had a really big win over McDaniel.”
To cement a play-off berth, the Garnet will need to come up with three consecutive must-win victories. Williams is hopeful, particularly under the mentorship of Head Coach and former National team member Karen Borbee.
“I love my coach,” said Williams, who has 33 groundballs, 18 draw controls and 18 caused turnovers this year. “She is great and really encouraging.”
Another supportive force has been Williams’s own mother, who spearheads organizing post-game receptions for team members and their families.
“My mom has always been there for me,” she said. “She encouraged me to do things I would have never thought of.”
The maternal advice has panned out well for Williams. From declaring history as her major to taking up lacrosse, she describes some of her best experiences as “happy little accidents.”
“I guess one thing I’ve learned…my road to playing lacrosse was so unexpected. Even your best plans don’t the way you thought you would.”