As the fall sport season gets underway, Norwood girls soccer has a new coach at the helm of the varsity program; well at least sort of. Rebecca Newman has taken over as the head coach, but she is by far not new to the program. Newman has been the junior varsity soccer coach for the past four seasons.
“In most situations, where a new coach comes in it’s a completely different approach,” the first year varsity coach said. “I am thankful that a lot of the girls on the varsity team have already played for me in the past. Not only is it an easier transition for me, but the girls as well as they know my coaching style and what my expectations are before they even step on the field.”
Playing in the Bay State League where girls soccer is tough, the Mustangs were only able to secure two wins last fall so Newman is looking for this year’s team to build upon that. Unlike the past, Norwood students have shown a lot of interest in girls soccer this fall and the numbers rose giving the coach that much more talent to choose from. There was also an influx in freshman showing up as the youth soccer programs in the town have seen a spike in interest.
Although Norwood only cracked the win column a handful of times last year, Newman has set goals that are not based on how many wins the team will get. Instead, the Mustangs will look to keep achieving all year, while building upon last year’s performance as they stay competitive against each and every team they take the field against.
“The girls know what they are in for this season,” Newman said. “They know it’s not going to happen overnight, but they are all still prepared to be a part of the program’s building process.”
Looking to lead the team into the future this fall will be senior tri-captains Megan Giambanco, Delia Bartucca and Michelle Brincklow. Giambanco is a second year captain for the Mustangs and is already committed to play soccer next fall for Stonehill College. While the senior can play just about anywhere in the lineup, she will primarily be used as a center midfielder and striker.
Brincklow is a midfielder and a strong leader that will be relied upon to build the play for Norwood this fall, especially getting the long ball up field into the offensive zone. She is also a great asset on defense giving the Mustangs great two-way play.
Bartucca, unfortunately watched from the sidelines last year due to an injury, but is ready to resume her position between the pipes for Norwood.
“She was definitely missed last year,” the coach said. “She’s an aggressive and fearless leader on the field and she takes a lot of shots. Being back in the net is a big asset.”
Although the three captains will shoulder moist of the responsibility this season, Newman is looking for each and every girl to contribute in some way to bring this team back to the top of the pack.
“A lot of girls are going to be looked upon to take that next step and bring their game to the next level,” Newman said. “On offense we will be looking for shooters to arise. I just want them to start putting the ball on net as many times as they can. We’ll worry about the accuracy later.”
In addition to working on the field, Newman wants her team to be unified as one.
“I also want to work on team unity, it is something that I strongly believe in. You win as a team and you lose as a team,” she said. “I’m not interested in focusing on wins and losses, we’re looking to build the program.”
As the season gets underway, the girls all know that they are not going to be crowned State champions or even league champions, but they are all excited about what’s upon them. Most of these girls have been playing together for many years and are just looking to go out in style, even if that means a low number of wins as long as they're involved in helping to build the Norwood program for the future.