New LTS coach seeks improvements
For the second time in as many years there is a change at the coaching position with Cassidy taking over the reins from Trevor Daniel who could not commit to returning as coach this season, according to LTS athletic director Scott McGrath.
The Lynx went 0-12 under Daniel last season, leaving the returning players hungry for a victory.
"We've got no place to go but up," Cassidy said. "We've got some tough teams out there to play, but like I said if they work hard on all the little things all the little things will add up to one big thing. They've got to put it together. It's up to them; I can only show them."
Cassidy has established a legacy for himself in Rutland for having brought soccer to the area. He has coached at many different levels including U4, high school, as well as a short stint at the College of St. Joseph's.
In 1975, Cassidy started the youth program in Rutland. At the time, there were only 12 kids. The program has grown significantly since with hundreds of kids participating in the program today.
Now in his 36th year of coaching, he's looking to bring his knowledge to Long Trail and improve the program.
"I'm pretty much starting [at] ground level. I guess they've had a couple of rough seasons. I've got to pretty much go right back to the basics," said Cassidy. "They're working hard, they've got great attitudes [and] I think it might pay off for them in the long run."
Cassidy first became acquainted with the Dorset area years ago when he went there with his daughter for a soccer tournament.
"I went down and I talked to Scott a few times and it just seemed like it might be a good fit and then I met with the captains (seniors Hannah Phelps and Caitlin Owen). They seem like nice girls," said Cassidy. "I'm still doing stuff up here. I'm still the director of soccer for the Rutland rec and I still coach at the club level, which is Summit Futbol Club. [But] just a change of scenery I think. It seemed like it might work. It seemed like they kind of needed me down there."
Cassidy said he will focus a lot on passing and receiving as a means of controlling the flow of the game.
"The biggest thing is to control the ball, to pass good, to defend well and to score goals," he said. "Physical, mental, tactical, technical; that's the four steps."
One of the biggest areas Cassidy said he wants to address is the defense.
"I'm always thinking defense first," said Cassidy. "I'm going to try to be strong in my defense. They're losing games and giving up a lot of goals. That's where I think I've got to try to focus right now."
Scrimmages - which Cassidy said seem not to take place at Long Trail - are something he would like to implement as part of the preseason.
While there have not been any scrimmages so far - and there may not be before the start of the season - Cassidy said moving forward he would like to set up two or three scrimmages every preseason.
Going into this year, Cassidy said there is a "good nucleus" returning and that he also has some freshmen coming in who will serve as the foundation of the team for years to come.
In an interview on Friday, Cassidy said that he had yet to pick the team and that there were two girls - a senior and a sophomore - competing against each other for the goalie position. Competition is not limited to the goalkeeper position though. He has told all his players that if they expect to start they are going to have to work hard to earn their spot on the team and he indicated that so far the approach seems to be paying off.
"I'm encouraged at what I see, Right now I've got 16, not a bad number, and I wouldn't be surprised if I picked up a couple more. [They're] a good bunch of girls [and] it seems like they want to learn," Cassidy said. "I think they want to take that step. They don't like being in the cellar. They want to win some games and that's [a] good attitude."
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