PLATTSBURGH — A familiar name will be leading the Clinton Community College women’s soccer team this fall.
Clinton Athletic Director Kevin Daugherty recently announced that Katie Lee has been named the next coach of the Cougars.
“Katie is a perfect fit for us here at Clinton,” Daugherty said. “She is very organized, intelligent and focused, and those characteristics are what makes a good coach.
“I was most impressed with her focus. She’s sharp, and she is very committed.”
Lee was a member of the 2010 Clinton soccer team that captured the first national title in Clinton history by winning the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Soccer Championship.
The new Cougars coach conveyed extreme excitement when speaking about her new job.
“I can’t even express my excitement in words,” Lee said. “This is something I have wanted to do for a very long time, and I was happy that the opportunity finally presented itself.
“I had asked about a position with the Clinton soccer team in the past, and the timing just didn’t work. When this finally worked out, it was awesome.”
Lee possesses a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Brockport and a master’s degree in sports management and athletic administration from Southern New Hampshire University.
While completing her master’s degree, Lee interned for Major League Soccer, expanding her knowledge of the game she has dedicated plenty of her life to.
Prior to college, Lee attended Saranac and was a member of the school’s varsity soccer program for multiple years.
“The exciting part for me is just the fact that I do have that past experience as a player,” Lee said. “My whole goal for being the coach and going through these seasons is I want to give my players the same type of experience that I had at Clinton.
“I want them to have the fun that my team had when we won it all in 2010. I want to share my personal experiences with them so that they can understand just how big a community college soccer team can be.”
Clinton women’s basketball coach Donna Dixon, who coached the 2010 women’s soccer team, said the Cougars are in good hands with Lee in charge.
Dixon complimented Lee’s soccer knowledge and sensed that she had the potential to be a coach during her playing days.
“Katie was a leader on that championship team,” Dixon said. “I know she wants to win, and she will do what it takes to win. I’m very happy to have someone in that spot to bring the program back. She knows what it takes to compete.
“When she was playing, she was a great teammate, and I know she will be an even better coach. I had a feeling that she would eventually be a coach, and it’s always great to see alumni come back and give back to the program.”
For the upcoming 2019 campaign, Lee will be relying on a core group of returners that are back at Clinton for a second season.
Last year, the Cougars won just five games.
“We have a good core of players coming back,” Daugherty said. “I always thought from the home games that I saw last year that they had a good core of freshmen. The problem last year was numbers.
“The women’s team won five games and would have won more if they had a few more bodies. Katie has some good players coming back that have already played Region III soccer and know the commitment it takes to be successful.”
Lee expects to have a 15-player roster and plans to stress injury prevention with workout programs she has designed, knowing Clinton will have a small bench.
The Cougars’ first preseason practice will be held Aug. 12, and matches begin a few weeks later.
Lee said her main objectives include improving Clinton’s record and making sure every player on the team improves individually throughout the 2019 season.
“I want to improve the record from last year and progress this group of girls even further,” Lee said. “With many of them graduating after this season, I am pushing them to that next level.
“I want to win every game we can and also prepare them for the next step by advancing their skills and their conditioning. I want to put emphasis on no injuries and try and win some games.
“I know we are a pretty big underdog right now, but I want to shock people.”
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