The Andover Townsman
---- — The District 5 U13 Girls soccer team was crowned the 2013 Massachusetts District Select Champions earlier this month.
The District 5 team claimed victory with hard-fought matches during the season-ending tournament on Aug. 3 and 4 at the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Complex at Progin Park in Lancaster.
District 5 coach David Swallow of Methuen, in a press release, called the win a total team effort, and credited his players with utilizing great teamwork, skill and a commitment to full field defense to win the championship over the five-game tournament.
The team included eight players from Essex County travel teams and local clubs and 12 from the North Shore United Soccer Club. The three Andover players on the team were Jessica Wang, Maddie Rhodes and Emalie Tjalsma.
Swallow said normally, this collection of girls would be fierce rivals, competing against one another for their respective town teams during the school year. For the District Select Program, the girls had to put aside any rivalries and become an efficient, skilled and competitive team with a common goal of winning the year-end District Select tournament, he said.
“We bonded well as a team,” Swallow said. “This was a great accomplishment and demonstrates what girls in our local area are capable of when they give 100 percent and play selfless, team soccer.”