By JOHN CORYER
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Kaila Sciascia is new to the area and understands she has a tough act to follow.
Sciascia is the new head coach of the Clinton Community College women’s soccer team after taking over for longtime coach Donna Dixon.
“I got off to a late start as far as recruiting goes,” she said. “It has helped that we have some returning players. But we have some girls who haven’t played soccer before. So, we’re starting with the basics. We’re molding a team.
“There’s a lot of preparation to do, but I’m excited to get started. I’ve wanted to become a soccer coach.”
Sciascia certainly has the resume as a player that she can bring to coaching. She played four years as a forward on the Division I University of Maryland team.
“This is a fresh start for me and the team,” she said. “The girls are supporting one another well and we want to have a good time while being competitive. I’m a competitive person and we want to progress as the season goes on.”
Lack of numbers is working against the Cougars at the moment. There are only 13 players on the roster and Clinton opens its season today with a 2 p.m. home game against Onondaga Community College.
“I’ve talked to a few other girls and I’m hoping to have at least 16 players on the roster in the very near future,” Sciascia said. “That would give us depth on the bench.”
Sciascia is counting on two sophomores, midfielder Kiley Wilkins and defender Lyndale Nephew, for leadership roles.
“Wilkins will play defensive center midfield for us,” Sciascia said. “She has a lot of skills and is fit.
“Nephew will give us everything she has. She works extremely hard and communicates well.”
Sophomore midfielder Kenna Agoney and freshman goalkeeper Courtney Backus will be key players as well.
“Agoney has a lot of speed and that’s something we need to take advantage of,” Sciascia said. “Backus is our only out-of-state player on the roster and she will need to play well for us.
“I can’t single out many players because we’re still getting used to one another. I do know that all the players are showing progress and you can already see the difference since Day 1. There’s been a world of difference.”
Sciascia knows a little bit about offense from her college days.
“I was a forward when I played and I know the importance of crashing the net,” she said. “We’ve been emphasizing that in practice. We will need to finish on our opportunities.”
Saturday, Aug. 31- Onondaga Community College, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 3- at Paul Smith’s College, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 7- Cayuga Community College, Plattsburgh State, 2 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 8- Finger Lakes Community College, noon
Wednesday, Sept. 11- at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 14- Hudson Valley Community College, 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 18- North Country Community College, 5 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 22- Herkimer Community College, 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 25- at Middlebury College B team, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 28- at Mohawk Valley Community College, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 5- at Jefferson Community College, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 6- SUNY Delhi, 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 12- at Broome Community College, noon
Wednesday, Oct. 16- at North Country Community College, 3:30 p.m.