The Pilgrim girls’ soccer team knew it was going to be good this past fall, but it also knew that to be as good as it hoped, it needed its center midfielder Kassandra Lussier to step up.
“Everyone on the team knew that we needed Kassy to score,” Pilgrim head coach Mike Weber. “You kind of looked for her to score.”
And she did score, but also helped everyone else to score. As perhaps the most balanced player on a team with plenty of weapons, Lussier tallied 11 goals and 10 assists on the season, and helped the Pats to a 14-4 regular season.
While some girls could score, and others could spread the ball around, none could do both at the level that Lussier could.
“She was a deft passer,” Weber said. “She had the ability to find the open person and make the pass. And she had the ability to not make a lot of touches and make a shot. She was always pretty much accurate on net.”
Three girls on Pilgrim had at least 11 goals, including Lussier, and she had a hand in most of the team’s scoring.
It was a role she embraced from the start with a quiet confidence that made her a leader, despite not being overly vocal.
“My position on the field, it’s pretty much the center of everything,” Lussier said. “I played an important part. I kind of get to control everybody without actually controlling everyone.”
Lussier and her teammates were also playing with heavy hearts this season, as they were honoring two teammates – Bella DiPalma Elanna Zuller – who lost their lives in a car accident before the first game.
Their memories never left Lussier’s mind.
“We played for them, instead of just playing for soccer,” Lussier said. “It was all for them.”
And it turned out to be one of the best years in the program’s history.
Lussier was the catalyst.
“She had a very solid year,” Weber said. “She worked very hard. All the kids like her and she’s quiet, but she just goes about her business in a quiet way. Some kids have a little more flare or whatever, but not her. She just kind of takes everything in stride.