Long Trail graduated 12 players from last year's team and said good-bye to promising goalkeeper Adam Maitland, so there are a lot of holes to fill. The one area that Smith feels he does not have to worry about it the team's back line. Senior co-captains Jack McChesney, Jordan Lamothe and Parker Lyman will anchor the back end and Smith expects to focus his team on the defensive side of the ball.
"We're going to be a little more defensively minded because we don't have
Sophomore Luke Cadet, who played forward last year as a freshman, will slide back to the midfield to give Smith a little more flexibility in the middle of the field. The Lynx have to replace the entire midfield, which was lost to graduation.
"He will go from forward to midfield just for some stability," said Smith. "The rest is still up in the air. I need to figure some things out."
Up front, Smith is hoping to get some goal scoring from Javi Martin, an exchange student from Spain.
"Javi is going to score goals, there is no question that he is going to score goals," said
Other than those players, the positions on the field are going to be by committee while Smith hopes that some of the newer players can gain experience as the season progresses. Two freshman are vying for the goalkeeping position, but they are not very experienced.
"Our back will be solid, it will tough to get around Jack, Jordan and Parker," said Smith. "We're going to have play a little longer style of ball, but that's okay."
The leadership will be centered on the back line, with the three captains - McChesney, Lamothe and Lyman - all playing there.
"I have three captains in the back line, there is a reason for that," said Smith. "I think they have got to remain positive. They have got to be the people to look up to."
Long Trail will start off the season on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at home against Green Mountain. The Lynx will then head to Bellows Falls on Friday, Sept. 7.
"We're just going to have to keep our heads above water, mentally, those first two games," said Smith, whose team will face tow Div. III schools right off the bat. "It will be an interesting first week."
After the first two tough games, Smith is hoping to his team will be competitive enough to get to a .500 record.
"I'd like to be competitive enough to be .500, I'd be very happy with that," said Smith.