Girls show positive signs

DORSET - Those who watch the Long Trail School girls soccer team this year may notice some differences.

One of the changes comes at the coaching position where Rene Navarrete - who coached the middle school boys team at Long Trail School last season - has taken over for Tim Cassidy who coached the Lynx last season.

Last year, Long Trail went 0-10-0 in the regular season before being elimated in playdowns by Black River who lost to Proctor in the title game.

In an interview last week prior to the start of the season, Navarrete said he was seeing some encouraging signs out of this year's team.

"Once we have the ball in the middle we have been able to spread the ball and make the field wide," he said. "So, we've been able to score in both of our games so far and I hear that they were having trouble the past few seasons scoring goals."

The team lost a close preseason contest 6-5 to Bellows Falls earlier this year. Mikaela Martiros and Carley Lund scored a pair of goals each and Aisha Navarrete - one of three eighth graders along with Emery Letendre and Markie Moore who will play up with the varsity - scored a goal for the Lynx. Regina Marchese had two saves in net in the game.

Though the team may be able to put some points up on the board this year, Navarrete said that the team needs to improve on the defensive side of the ball.

"I believe that's a place where we need to work more," said Navarrete. "The midfield is strong. The defense we have good players, but because [it's] the beginning of the season we're still not fit. So, some of those good players sometimes need a breather so they need to come out and sit on the bench for a little bit and then the players that come in from the bench some of them are not as fast. So, I would say the defense has more work to do."

Navarrete also said so far in preseason a lot of the goals the team has allowed have come in transition after the Lynx lost possession of the ball when they were on the attack. That was another area he said that the team will have to address as the season progresses. However, making strides to improve as a team may not take that long given the girls work ethic.

"One of the things that I've noticed is that the girls are really committed and they really want to work and they want to be competitive. So, they really put a big effort [in] during the practices and they try to bring that into the games," said Navarrete. "So, that I appreciate as a coach. You know you want them to practice hard because the practices are as important as the games."

This year's squad is young with six freshmen and three middle school students making up part of the 16 person roster.

Nellie Burch, Olivia Mcchesney and Dehlia Squillante are the three seniors on this year's team and so far, Navarrete said they have played an important role in guiding the younger players.

"What I've liked is that the seniors, you know the older players, they're taking the role of leading the team and they're helping a lot with that and they're really willing to become a team," said Navarrete.

Lindy Burch-Durkee, Shannon Harrington, Sarah Johnson, Ashley Maynes, Courteney McGowan, Julie McNealus, Martha Phelps, and Ashley Stork round out the roster.


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