NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

October 25, 2013

Team approach has Triton in tourney

BYFIELD — For the first time in program history, the Triton girls soccer team is headed to the state tournament, and as far as the players are concerned, there’s only one reason why.

“If you play like a team, then you can win,” said senior midfielder Shannon Dubee. “No matter how skilled you are, if you play by yourself, you can’t win for your team. It’s all about the team.”

The team-first and team-only approach is what first-year coach Mike Weisberg has been selling his young squad since he arrived from Peabody at the end of the summer.

“I’m going to (Bill) Belichick you,” laughed Weisberg, 31. “They work hard. They have a good work ethic, and they work tough every day.”

The truth is, of course, a bit more complicated than that. After last year’s 3-14-2 season, the current Vikes have racked up an impressive 8-5-3 record while running a 3-5-2 midfield-heavy system.

“We’re focusing on the middle of the field, instead of having people that just run up and score goals,” said senior co-captain and midfielder Madison Williams. “Our defense, offense and center are all playing as a unit. We’re all playing as one.”

There’s that unity theme again, and for a team that is fielding only four seniors and two juniors, it seems a wise choice.

“I think they bought in pretty quick,” Weisberg said. “They knew it wasn’t going to be the same program. It was intense work, and they just kept building from that. We try to keep it fun. That’s pretty much the biggest thing. They work hard, and they have a good time. When we need to crack the proverbial whip, we do and they respond and things go well.”

The girls also responded to their new coach, who was joined by veteran Triton assistant coach Rick MacDonald.

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