PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton Community College men’s soccer team has a new coach at the helm and a confident nature.
The Cougars’ 20-player roster displays plenty of skillsets that first-year coach Keagen Briggs believes can pave the way to success.
“It's definitely an exciting time right now,” Briggs said. “We have a good group of guys, and they feel confident in their abilities. They have bought into the culture, and I really just want to see where we are at as this season gets going.”
After back-to-back losses to open the season against Genesee Community College and Jamestown Community College, respectively, Clinton will host Tompkins Cortland Community College at 5 p.m. Saturday in its home opener.
Since Briggs was named the next coach of the Cougars in February, he has dedicated countless hours recruiting and formulating a roster for the 2019 season.
“Since I have gotten the job, I have been thinking about what it would be like when I got to the season,” Briggs said. “It's great that I can now see everything come together on the field and see what our team can do.”
Kyle Cahoon, Aidan Masten, Tobiah Osborne and Ryan Goddeau-Duprey will power Clinton’s defense.
The Cougars’ back line will be a staple to the team.
“I have been really impressed with our defense now that we have put it together and formed something,” Briggs said. “We had an idea of what we wanted to go with, but when we put a group of four guys together that really gelled and showed potential, it was great.”
Kyle Vasser will be Clinton’s No. 1 goalie, and Adam Darrah will be backing Vasser up.
Briggs said both keepers are working hard and both can contribute to the Cougars.
Returners from last year’s squad include Nick Shantie, Pat Polnisek, Logan Julien, Cahoon, Tom Kimbler and Vasser.
Clinton will count on Julien, who was named a team captain during the winter, to provide leadership on and off the field.
“Logan is very talented and gives a lot in the midfield,” Briggs said. “He is going to be counted on to do a lot for us, and we are confident he will be able to do so.”
Andrew Follmer and Rylee Hollister will be up front and serve as scoring threats for the Cougars.
After noting how Clinton has some quality offensive threats, Briggs made sure to stress Clinton has to showcase a defense-first mindset.
“A lot of our practices have been defensive-minded and working on team defending,” Briggs said. “It's looked pretty good.
“There will be teams that are better than us, but we can be the most organized team in the league and have our strengths there, especially when it comes to defense.”
That defensive philosophy coordinated with the identity Briggs said his team displays.
“This team is going to be hardworking,” Briggs said. “We practice hard, and our defense is intense and disciplined.
“To be successful, we have to be composed in all stages of our game. That will be the key for this group of players.”
By Joe Lafranca via Press Republican
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