NORTH ADAMS -- In three years Mary Nguyen registered 84 points for the McCann Tech girls' soccer team -- and she wasn't even at her best.
Three games into her senior season, it appears Nguyen is playing the best soccer of her high school career.
"She's faster, she's stronger and she's a lot better soccer player this year," coach Mike Dowling said. "She's got a better shot, she looks to make nice passes and she's always in position. So far for her senior year, she is playing the way a senior is supposed to play."
As the Hornets prepare for Renaissance (1-1) today, Nguyen is just five points shy of hitting the 100-point milestone.
She is a major part of the Hornets' offensive explosion. In three games, McCann has outscored opponents 18-0. Combined with her speed and ability to always be in the right position Nguyen has registered half of her team's goals. She and fellow senior Alex Lincoln have combined to score 13 points in the three games.
"She is just so hard to stop," Dowling said. "When we were playing Mount Everett, their defense was playing way up so we were just chipping the ball over and Mary was 10 feet behind them by the time she got to the ball."
Nguyen had four goals against Mount Everett in the season's opening game. She contributes her hot start to improved foot work, something she worked on over the summer.
The senior captain was a big part of the Hornets' success last season -- the team
"I know what is more important," Nguyen said. "[100 points] is my own personal goal, but the team comes before that. I'm much more focused on how I can help the team than I am on scoring."
Aside from crisp passing and a blazing fast shot, Nguyen brings leadership and experience to the Hornets. She is just one of four seniors on a team loaded with juniors and young talent.
She's not satisfied with winning a league championship in her junior year, she wants to go out as a winner this season. Today's game will go a long way toward seeing how much work the team needs to do in order to accomplish that goal come November.
"I think we can be Tri-County champions again. I mean Renaissance looks like they'll be quite the challenge," Nguyen said. "They were really good last year, and we had trouble with them. I don't think they lost anyone this year."
Nguyen and Lincoln have both played on the team for four years and bring a wealth of experience to a team looking to improve.
"The rest of the team looks up to Mary right now, her and Alex," Dowling said. "They both have been here for four years in essentially the exact same position.
"They know what I want as a coach, they know what they want, what the team wants. They're passing that down the line. They're the ones who kind of keep this program moving in the right direction."
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