Duxbury has had some great girls’ soccer teams over the years, and Coach Emerson Coleman is confident that trend will continue this year with a squad he calls one of the deepest he has had in his five years at the helm of the program. When you return the Patriot League’s top two scorers and the No. 2 rated goalie, it’s not difficult to be optimistic.

 

Sophomore Nicole Gavin led the league as a freshman with 15 goals and 15 assists, while senior captain Laura Nee was right behind with 11 goals and 15 assists. Joining that duo will be Emily Weimer, who contributed a very impressive nine goals and eight assists to end up fifth in the scoring race.

“What more can you say about Nicole. Leading the league as a freshman, you would think she would come back this year and be as impressive, while Nee is not only a scorer, but more of an emotional leader in her fourth year of varsity play. People watching us may say that Emily was only our third leading scorer, but she can be a dangerous player because of her creativeness and unpredictability.”

While Duxbury’s forward line will get most of the publicity for their goal-scoring ability, Coleman had plenty of accolades for his midfielders.

Sophomore Maggie Maloney and junior Katie Larsen on the outside, with juniors Gabbie Davis and Meg Zaveruccha on the inside will provide the Lady Dragons with a quartet that Coleman says will wear down opponents.

“I call these kids our grinders. They don’t stop. They go for the full 80 minutes and make the other teams play a little harder than they want to play. They might not be the flashiest or most gifted players, but they make the other team work, and work, and work. They don’t stop until the whistle blows. They are not fun to play against.  They constantly challenge their opponents to compete.”

Coleman is fortunate that Duxbury’s club soccer teams continue to provide him with talent that is ready to step into varsity action in their freshman years. This season the Lady Dragons will have freshman Molly Tobin manning the sweeper position.

Tobin is ranked No. 91 in the US overall, No. 8 in the Northeast, and No. 3 in Mass., with a No. 12 positional ranking in the country as a defender as stated on topdrawersoccer.com.

“Molly is smart and team oriented,” says Coleman. “Her overall ability makes her a very versatile player.”

While it appears Tobin will anchor the defense, her outside backs are in a battle for playing time and include junior Julianna Borghesani, sophomore Marissa Fichter, senior Allie Wolff and senior Tina Balzotti.

The backfield is not the only area where a battle is brewing for playing time.

Senior goalkeeper Heather Dorn returns after giving up just 10 goals in 12 games last year, but is getting stiff competition from sophomore Logan Snelling, who has had a great pre-season, including stopping a penalty shot in a scrimmage with Brockton.

While Coleman claims his team to be one of the deepest in memory, it’s not because of returning seasoned veterans. A trio of freshmen that includes Emma Gill, Kylie Stevens, and Liz Wong should see significant playing time, while junior Halle Walsh has shown plenty of versatility that has convinced the coaching staff that she’ll be a regular contributor.

While the Lady Dragons appear to be strong, Coleman knows it won’t be easy trying to duplicate last year’s 15-3-4 record that ended with a 3-0 loss to Canton in the South Sectional finals.

“We’ve been very fortunate to get to the South Sectional finals the past two years. But the league will be tough with Whitman-Hanson, Scituate, Silver Lake, and Hingham. If we do get to the tournament, Canton, Medfield, and Cardinal Spellman will be waiting there. Staying injury free is always a factor and we can compete with anyone as long as we are healthy.”

While the return of three proven scorers makes the Lady Dragons appear to be an offensive juggernaut, it’s not the thing that has impressed Coleman the most.

“I know we can score goals, but I’ve been so impressed by our defense the entire pre-season between Heather and the team’s dedication to defense. I think we have a lot of potential to do some outstanding things this fall.”