PLATTSBURGH — Numbers on the roster may be low, but the Clinton Community College women’s soccer team’s enthusiasm could not be higher.
Led by first-year coach Katie Lee, the Cougars are excited to begin the 2019 season.
“I am so excited about our team,” Lee said. “After all the hard work my team and myself have done to make sure we succeed at recruiting and getting the word out there about the team, I could not be happier to get the season underway.”
Clinton has its home opener at 3 p.m. Saturday against Tompkins Cortland Community College, following a 1-1 road trip last weekend that saw the Cougars fall to Genesee Community College, 5-0, before defeating Jamestown Community College, 5-2.
Clinton showcases a 12-player roster, making team chemistry as well as trust key components to the squad.
“It’s probably one of the most important things for us. We need to stick together and work together given our small roster,” Lee said.
“I have been emphasizing team bonding and really creating that trust and companionship between all the girls so they anticipate each other on the field.
“That’s the only way we are going to be able to survive the season. We have to work together to have success.”
Paige Chilton will anchor the Cougars in goal this season, while Lillian Perry is expected to hold down the defense at sweeper.
Katelyn Southwick will be controlling the midfield and also serve as one of Clinton’s top leaders.
“Katelyn is one of our captains and has been pretty dominant in the midfield and making sure our team tempo is right,” Lee said. “She has really become the leader that this team needs with her play and also just how she conducts herself.”
In addition to Southwick, Lee acknowledged Avery Lambert and Juliana Gardner should provide some quality offense and account for goals throughout the season.
Returners to the team include, Bryanna Garrand, Southwick, Abigail Webb, Lambert and Gardner.
Lee said the Cougars’ second-year players have provided plenty of leadership and kept the team together well.
“It’s so great to see that everyone is meshing so well together,” Lee said. “We have had a limited amount of practice time, but you could not tell by watching the chemistry our team has.”
Teamwork, including communicating and working together on the field, were strengths Lee mentioned about her team, and Clinton’s small roster size was her top concern but not something she believed would keep the Cougars from succeeding.
As a whole, Lee described the Cougars as a balanced group that showcases a lively spirit and competitive nature.
“They make me laugh all the time,” Lee said. “They are a very humorous bunch of girls, and they are having fun with it, which is what I want.
“The season is not going to be any fun if all of us are super serious. All of our players are extremely competitive. Some are extremely serious, though, while others are a bit more relaxed, which makes for an interesting dynamic.
“They are more of a wacky bunch, and I think that is going to work to our advantage. I’m excited to see what this season will be like.”
By Joe Lafranca via Press Republican
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