By BYRON BEERS
Enid senior midfielder Cassidy Fitzgerald has everything Lady Plainsmen head coach Tim Lavoie wants in a player on his roster.
“Cassidy is a player that is extremely committed to her goals,” Lavoie said. “She has worked relentlessly to become the best player, and best person she possibly can. Cassidy is a Character Counts Athlete because she does not complain about her situation. She sees her success as the team’s success and will do whatever possible to help teammates out. She is a leader within our program that leads by example and provides guidance for younger players.”
Fitzgerald, who has been involved in soccer for 15 years, has helped Enid to a 9-3 record in 2023. The Lady Plainsmen have won their last three contests, including a 4-0 shutout road win over Putnam City on April 14. They have won seven of their last eight games and have a 4-1 mark in District 6A-3.
Fitzgerald currently has five goals and seven assists on the season and will continue her soccer and academic career at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. She inked with the Rangers in November.
She lettered as a freshman and was named Enid’s Offensive Most Valuable Player in 2021. Fitzgerald has received numerous honorable mention honors throughout her career and received the ‘Live the Creed’ Award as a junior.
VYPE: How do you balance your time between soccer and academics or other activities?
Cassidy: It can be tough to remember to complete all your homework assignments after a long day of soccer. However, I learned the balance of work and play at an early age, and as I have grown in age, I have found that a planner is extremely useful to mark down future assignments and training dates.
VYPE: Do you have any goals this year in soccer, academics, or other activities?
Cassidy: A short-term goal I have this year, it’s to make it to the Class 6A State Playoffs. As for after graduation, I have goals to enter my collegiate season in the best shape possible and to excel in the biology program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
VYPE: What professional athlete do you model your game after and why?
Cassidy: I’ve looked up to many players throughout my life, but my play has mostly been influenced by excellent coaches who care about me and have pushed me to be better, including my dad, who was my youth soccer coach. Coach Craig Liddell and Coach Tim Lavoie at EHS have really invested in me as a player, molded me and helped me grow. Through my involvement with the Oklahoma Energy Football Club, I’ve also had tremendous coaches, like Tommy Hubbard and Niall Crick. I’ve been blessed with great coaches at every level, and I’ve taken lessons from them all.
VYPE: What is your favorite drill to do in training and why?
Cassidy: My favorite drill to do in training is any kind of passing variation. It could be as simple as a passing pattern where you follow your pass, or a complex competitive rondo drill. My teammates always joke around that it is odd that I prefer passing drills over scrimmages, but I just love to do drills.
VYPE: What are your strengths and what have you improved on the most over the course of your high school career?
Cassidy: My strengths are being a team player and a high soccer IQ. I can see the field very well; I can see the smallest spaces that I can slip the ball into. I understand where the next open space will be before the play begins, creating an opportunity to receive the ball and turn towards the goal. Being a team player is being selfless for your team. If I am right in front of the goal with no clear shot on goal, I will find a teammate with a better chance of scoring, and pass and move instead of being selfish and taking a shot. Something I have improved on is defense. Defending is a skill I have never done very well in. However, in the past two years, I have increased my defensive skills and defensive work rate to dive in and win the ball back for my team.
VYPE: What are your thoughts on this season from both an individual and team standpoint?
Cassidy: Our current season has been amazing so far. Our team chemistry has never been better, and it shows on and off the field. A goal of ours this season was to compete with a relentless and never die mentality, and I believe that we have achieved that. As for senior year season, I feel so grateful to spend my last year with such a hardworking and loving group of girls. We have thrived in demanding situations this season, and it has made me a better player overall.
VYPE: What’s your most memorable sports moment during your high school career?
Cassidy: My most memorable team moments are a tough tie between team dinners and daily dance battles. No matter where my teammates and I are, we are always having a good time. Our dance battles usually start with blasting music, then someone starts dancing and we immediately laugh over our bad dancing skills. It is always nice to meet up after practice and stuff ourselves silly with the delicious food prepared for us as we fill the air with laughter and strategy for the next game. The memories and friendships I have made this season will undoubtedly last a lifetime.
VYPE: What do you love most about being a student-athlete at Enid and why?
Cassidy: I love being a student-athlete because I love to compete for my school, Enid High School. In our program we always say, “Play for the E on your chest, and the Pacers on the back.” It is special to play for the Enid Pacers and the Enid community, and I am so thankful to be a part of it.
VYPE: What do you enjoy doing in your free time? What are some of your hobbies?
Cassidy: In my free time, I play more soccer. I have been a part of a competitive club traveling team with Oklahoma Energy Football Club for the past four years. I travel to practices in Edmond, OK two times a week and then travel to Texas for games over the weekend. I have met some of my forever best friends there and I am proud of myself for making the jump to improve my skills.
VYPE: What qualities do you think make someone a good teammate or leader?
Cassidy: Outstanding qualities of a teammate or leader are communication and mental toughness. A leader must express expectations and promote a winning mentality through positive action and words. I believe your teammates will forget what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. By promoting a never die mentality, a leader’s message and ideology spreads throughout the team and helps create a mentally strong group of young ladies.
VYPE: Is there a particular game or tournament that you’re excited for this season?
Cassidy: Since our season is almost over, I am crossing my fingers that we secured a slot in the 6A Oklahoma State Playoffs.
VYPE: What are your plans after high school?Cassidy: After graduating from Enid High School, I am attending Northwestern Oklahoma State University to continue my academic and athletic career. I will be studying biology, while competing for NWOSU’s Women’s soccer team. I have also been accepted as a member of the President Dr. Bo Hannaford’s President’s Leadership Council. After earning my bachelors in health science, I hope to be accepted into the dental program at the University of Oklahoma to become a dentist.