Thursday, July 25, 2024

Clavet brings control, leadership to Cards

Hailing from Clifton Park, Cassidy Clavet graduated from Shenendehowa High School having played soccer, track and field, cross-country and lacrosse. However, having played the game since she was little, there was no doubt in her mind that she would continue her soccer career in college.

“It’s just something that since I started at such a young age, it was one of my passions,” Clavet said. “Just with the constant traveling and the long weekends, playing in college wasn’t even really an option to me at that point. It was just a part of my lifestyle.”

However, the talented midfielder wasn’t without support from her family. Clavet said she considers herself fortunate to have parents who sacrificed and gave their support throughout her athletic career.

“Taking those long weekends, taking days off from work, driving through the night and just standing out there watching on the sidelines in the pouring rain,” she said, laughing. “I’m lucky that they were able to do that because it’s really nice to have all that constant support.”

When it came to choosing a school, Clavet ultimately decided on Plattsburgh State. She said both athletics and academics factored into her decision as she placed a high value on both aspects.

Former head coach Karen Waterbury, now the associate director of recreational sports, played a large role in the 5-foot-8-inch midfielder becoming a Cardinal in 2012.

“She was very persistent with her recruiting,” Clavet said.

Clavet was reluctant to come to PSUC at first, as she acknowledged a desire to attend school a bit farther away from home. However, her tune changed as time went on and she discovered more about what the school and the Plattsburgh area had to offer.

“The more I looked into the school’s business program, I saw that they were building a new business school over here and I thought it would be a really great opportunity,” she said. “I really loved the area. When I came for my tour here, everyone was super friendly. I just felt like I was at home.”

The now-junior captain had no trouble getting acclimated. She netted a goal in her first ever collegiate match, a 5-0 PSUC victory against Johnson State. That would be only the beginning for Clavet, who ultimately led her freshman class with five points, two goals and 22 shots.

She followed that up with a superb sophomore campaign, playing in all 18 of her team’s games while amassing the squad’s second-highest point total with nine.

Now entering her third year with the Cards, Clavet has the added responsibility of being a junior captain and serving more of a leadership role than she has in the past.

PSUC head coach Tania Armellino, who is in just her first season at the helm, said she didn’t really know what she had in Clavet before arriving.

“I had heard great things, but I didn’t really know until I got here,” Armellino said. “She’s a great player, great person, great captain. It’s really a beauty because you come in with zero expectations because you haven’t really seen anybody, but she’s rose to the occasion and then some.”

When it comes to leading off the field, Clavet effectively blends leading both vocally and by example, which teammate and former roommate Hannah Saccocio said has worked well.

“She’s always putting others before herself,” Saccocio said. “She’s very easy to talk to, and all the girls feel comfortable going to her for advice.”

On the field, Clavet combines control with strong technical ability as a midfielder and forward. While she had just one goal entering Thursday night’s contest despite logging 11 shots, Armellino said she’s confident the results will take care of themselves as the season moves along.

“She has great field vision and she has a fantastic shot, which doesn’t hurt either,” Armellino said. “As she gets more comfortable, more of those shots will be coming and she’ll be able to capitalize more on those opportunities.”

Despite a strong resumé of individual accomplishments, the one thing remaining for Clavet is to find success on a team-wide scale. The Cards haven’t put together a winning season since 2011, but Clavet said she wants to change that over the course of her final two seasons at PSUC.

“We’ve been consistent, but never really enough to make it to SUNYAC playoffs,” Clavet said. “I think that’s definitely my No. 1 goal, to get into the playoffs this year and, by the end of the two years, come away with a championship and get into the NCAA tournament.”

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