EHHS girls’ varsity soccer to rely on youth this season

By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Sep. 6, 2013
Junior forward Alissa Lacasse returns as the team's top goal-scorer from last season.  Photo by Corey AmEnde.
Junior forward Alissa Lacasse returns as the team's top goal-scorer from last season. Photo by Corey AmEnde.

The East Hartford High School girls’ varsity soccer team will rely heavily on younger players this season, as it makes a run at qualifying for the state tournament.

“We probably will start maybe seven or eight freshmen and sophomores,” said second-year head coach Courtney Moore. “So we’re very young, but they have all the experience either at club level or middle school, so we’re really going to count on them to hold the team together - and looking forward, things should be pretty solid for the next couple of years.”

Adding experience to the team are senior co-captain midfielder Taylor Cafro and junior forward Alissa Lacasse, who was the top goal-scorer for last year’s team that went 3-12-1 overall and 1-12-1 in the CCC North. Other key players for this year include senior co-captain sweeper Danielle Innocent, junior defender Renee Cote, sophomore midfielder Tara Peng and sophomore defender Jessica Duarte. 

The team lost three All-Conference players and five starters to graduation from last year’s squad, including four-year starting keeper Cassie Quattropanni.

Practice opened on Saturday, Aug. 24, and Moore said there has been an emphasis on fitness. “We tried to do a lot of conditioning this summer with the kids,” said Moore. 

The team had two pre-season scrimmages scheduled that included a road match against Plainville on Tuesday, Sept. 3, and another road game against Cromwell on Friday, Sept. 6. “We played both of them last year and actually we’re pretty evenly balanced,” said Moore. “So hopefully that’s going to be a good indication of where we stand this year.”

Moore said she’s been stressing the importance of playing a possession game where they control the ball and have crisp passing on the field. “That’s all we’ve been working on is just starting back at the basics and just retraining them to play to their teammates' feet, and keep the ball in East Hartford hands and goals will come,” said Moore. 

The strength for this year’s team that will be playing a 4-4-2 is their offense, according to Moore. “We have some quick people up top,” she said. “We have a lot of speed up top, crafty players and people who can put the ball in the net.” 

Moore said defense will be an area to work on as the season progresses, especially when they face teams like South Windsor and Glastonbury, who have taller players on their rosters. “We’re speedy, just not big,” said Moore.

The goal for the season is to make the state tournament and secure a .500 record in the highly competitive CCC North.

The girls begin their regular season on Tuesday, Sept. 10, on the road against Bloomfield. 

“Hopefully we’re looking for a win right off the bat,” said Moore.  “We beat Bloomfield last year pretty readily, but their one of those teams that have one or two fast kids that can just run and they get a quick goal and then you’re down, so hopefully we’ll handle it.”

Following their game against Bloomfield, the team hosts East Catholic on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 6:30 p.m., for their home opener.  They then host Manchester on Monday, Sept. 16, at 6:30 p.m., and Glastonbury on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 3:45 p.m.

After that, they hit the road for a night game on Friday, Sept. 20, against Windsor at 7 p.m., before returning home on Tuesday, Sept. 24, for a match against Wethersfield, at 5 p.m.  The Hornets close out September with a road game against Weaver on Friday, Sept. 27, at 4 p.m.

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