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Athlete Worth Watching: Kassidy Bresnahan, South River High School Graduate

Nov 02, 2017 10:41AM
By Tom Worgo

Recent South River High School graduate Kassidy Bresnahan arrived at the University of Florida this fall several steps ahead of the rest of her highly recruited freshmen lacrosse teammates.

Her advantage: Bresnahan boasts deep ties to the Gators’ program. First and foremost, Bresnahan’s sister, Taylor, starred for Florida as a four-year starter. On top of that, her high school coach at South River, Caroline Cochran, also played for the Gators under current coach Amanda O’Leary.

Bresnahan, who chose Florida over scholarship offers from Louisville, Boston College, George Mason, and High Point, felt the connection right away.

“It’s awesome to get a feeling of what I am expecting next season,” says Bresnahan, who plans to major in criminology and attend nursing school after college. “A bunch of drills we will be doing at Florida are the drills I did in high school. It was definitely cool to see that. Some of the other girls might not know what to expect.”

Cochran couldn’t talk about Bresnahan and Florida lacrosse without bringing up her mentor, O’Leary, several times.

“I think she is well prepared,” Cochran says. “We emulate the Florida style of play, and a lot of their drills we use in practice. Kassidy has been familiar with them for four years. Her sister also played there. I think she will have an advantage.”

The 18-year-old Bresnahan will have to confront one issue, though, in that following in Taylor’s footsteps won’t be easy. Taylor earned All-American honors as both a junior and senior.

“Yeah, there is a lot of pressure with what she accomplished,” Bresnahan says. “She was named one of the top defenders in the nation and they called her the anchor of the defense. I am almost expected to be just as good.”

The five-foot-seven Bresnahan ratcheted up her workout schedule this past summer and seemed to train like a professional athlete. She lifted weights at an Edgewater gym and performed conditioning, speed, and agility drills at South River while also running and shooting at a net hundreds of times every day.

“I got a workout packet from Florida at the beginning of the summer,” Bresnahan says. “I was working out three hours a day. I was working out twice as much as I usually do. Maybe even three times. It was crazy.”

Taylor noticed her sister’s dedication to getting into the best shape possible.

“I think she has been working a lot harder this summer because she knows it’s crunch time,” says Taylor, whose grandparents live in Gainesville. “She’s more than ready for the season. She was also down here in Gainesville for more than two weeks training with me on our field shooting and running. She wanted to see it and get used to it.”

Bresnahan had a dramatic impact on the South River girls’ lacrosse team as a senior, leading the Seahawks in goals (53) with an accurate and blistering shot. She also ranked third in assists (9) and fourth in draw controls (27).

Bresnahan played her best in the playoffs, totaling three goals and an assist with seven draw controls to help the Seahawks to the Class 4A/3A South Region final, where they lost to Severna Park, 13-9. Brensahan also had four goals and four assists in a postseason rout of North Point of Charles County.

“She really stepped up those games,” Cochran says. “Her experience brought us to the next level.

She led us to the regional final, which we hadn’t gotten to in three years. She led by example and she really brings it when she shows up. She was a role model for the younger players.”

Lacrosse wasn’t the only sport Bresnahan, whose sister Tommi will be sophomore on the Seahawks lacrosse team next spring, shined in for South River. Bresnahan started for three years in basketball and field hockey for the Seahawks. She was a first-team all-county selection as defender in field hockey in her final two years and ranked third in scoring and second in steals working as a shooting guard for the basketball squad.

“She was one of the go-to players on a (Class 4A) state championship team,” South River athletic director David Klingel says. “If she wanted to play collegiate field hockey, she could have. She was just one of those kids that you don’t come across a lot these days: Someone that excels at all three sports.”

If you have an athlete worth watching that you would like to nominate, send us an email at Ngould@WhatsUpMag.com.