Alexis Veith sharing her love and knowledge of soccer back at Lewis Mills HS.
By, JOHN TORSIELLO
Lewis Mills girls soccer coach Dennis Fowler knew he had the right person when Alexis Veith came on board the program as an assistant coach.
"Alexis knows the game as well as anyone I've been around in over 17 years of coaching high school soccer. But, even better, she knows how to relate to our girls and share that knowledge in easy-to-understand manner."
Fowler said when Veith, a former star for the Spartans, came back to the program last year she immediately lifted the quality of practices and the way the team made in-game changes. “You have to remember, Alexis was a full-ride, four-year Division I player at the University of Rhode Island. On top of that, she played for Oakwood Premier for years. Her extensive experience being coached at a high-level has allowed her to pick up so much overall knowledge about technical and tactical aspects of the game."
The 25-year-old Veith played for Mills from 2004 to 2007, making All-America status her senior year, and was All-New England and All-Berkshire League all four years. At the University of Rhode Island, Veith scored 10 career goals and started every game her senior season. Her best year stats-wise was as a sophomore, when she scored five goals and added an assist. One of her biggest goals came in a 1-1 double overtime tie with LaSalle as a senior when the Rams’ opponent was ranked 25th in the country.
“My college career was a mix of good and bad,” said Veith recently. “I definitely struggled at times, but I wouldn’t change any of what I experienced. Being a Division I student athlete with a double major is not an easy thing by any means, but it was 100 percent worth it. My senior year at URI was the best soccer year of my career, so I’m really happy that I ended on a positive note.”
The past two years Veith has worked as an inpatient phlebotomist at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford to gain experience in the healthcare field. Beginning in January, she starts in the Physician Assistant Program at Bryant University, an intensive, 27-month program, and will graduate with a Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.
Veith got into coaching so she could be around the game. “Being around the game makes me happy. Right now I have no plans of being a head coach. Assistant coaching has enabled me to stay involved in the game, while still being able to focus on furthering my education.”
Veith believes being a former player at the collegiate level has helped her as a coach. “I am able to see both perspectives, that of a player and that of a coach, and that is very beneficial.”
She began playing soccer when she was five years old. “I think I was pretty good at it right away, but I have always been athletic, even when I was little. I was an aggressive player with speed, quick lateral movement, and I was fortunate enough to have good coaching.”
"As a player, Alexis is far and away the best player at Mills over the last 15 years,” observed Fowler. “Her talent and touch and ability to command the soccer ball was second to none. She was an awesome athlete on top of that. She was an All-BL point guard in basketball. And she was so competitive. She hated losing and did everything in her power to prevent it."
Veith said her fondest memories of playing were simply “being part of a team, with teammates that become like family, and being part of something that is bigger than you.”
She hasn’t played soccer since her college days, and she’s okay with that. “I had my time playing and absolutely loved it, and now I’m happy to be a part of that experience for younger females. The game of soccer taught me a lot of life lessons, and it helped mold me into the person I am today. It’s rewarding to see and be a part of that happening to other players. The past two years I have been working (usually crazy hours), taking classes, and coaching, has been my life.”
And the Lewis Mills girls soccer program was better for Veith’s sideline efforts on its behalf.