By Jim Sullivan
---- — Newburyport girls soccer attacking midfielder Abbie Bresnahan believes that being a team player is something she inherited from her family.
“My sister (Taylor) and her two best friends (Jill Kinter and Laura Muise) came in here and won two state championships,” said Bresnahan. “My sister was a team player. She did what was best for the team, set up a lot of goals. That motivates me. I want to live up to her and I want to exceed her.”
Granddaughter of the late Newburyport Public Schools Superintendent Francis T. Bresnahan, the sophomore is currently performing according to plan as the undefeated Clippers’ second-highest goal-scorer, with seven goals and eight assists on the season. But according to Clippers co-coach (along with Rob Gonnam) Kevin Sheridan, that in itself wasn’t really the plan.
“The original plan, early on in the season, was to have Abbie as an outside striker,” said Sheridan. “But we had a bunch of injuries this year, so she has gone and filled the role as an attacking midfielder. She’s played as an outside midfielder and has played occasionally as a defensive midfielder. She has filled the role wherever we needed her to go.”
Bresnahan, who also plays soccer with Aztec Soccer Club, has been playing since her Newburyport Youth Soccer days when she was 4 years old. She started varsity for the Clippers as a freshman last season, but it didn’t go as well as she wanted after spraining her ankle. Apparently this year, she is making up for lost time.
“I love scoring goals,” said Bresnahan. “I think I’m more of a person who wants to score the goals rather than defend them. It’s the excitement of helping your team move forward. Everyone needs a goal-scorer.”
Ranking second on the team in scoring only to senior co-captain Jaycee Triandafilou was not something Bresnahan expected.
“It kind of took me by surprise,” she said. “When I came into this season, I kind of wanted to be very aggressive and I had a mindset of what I was going to do. I was trying to be a lot more aggressive toward the ball and follow a lot more of the shots. So that has been good for me so far.”
At 10-0-1, the Clippers are looking once again to make a deep tournament run just as they did when Taylor and her teammates played.
“This season has been awesome,” said Bresnahan. “All the girls on the team are like my sisters. So, we’re coming to practice every day and having a great time, playing a sport that we all love.”
A recent graduate of Union College, Taylor has come to a few of the Clippers’ games this fall and told her little sister that she was impressed with what she saw.
“I went to all their games when I was little,” Bresnahan said. “I kind of aspired to be one of them when I was older, and it is cool to think that I might be that for some younger kids now. It’s nice to be that.”
The Bresnahan file
Name: Abbie Bresnahan
Position: Attacking midfielder
Stats: 7 goals, 8 assists
Bloodlines: Sister of three-time state-champion Clipper Taylor Bresnahan