Lake Tahoe Community College women looking to break through, win 1st GVC soccer title
With five key returners and 17 freshmen who are pushing the sophomores, the Lake Tahoe Community College Coyotes are eying their first Golden Valley Conference title in the school’s history.
Returning All-GVL center back Caitlyn Bidart, was the lone team captain during Wednesday’s 2-0 home scrimmage victory over West Valley, and is excited for the 2017 campaign.
“We have a lot of talent and athleticism. The freshmen all work hard and they wanna get places,” Bidart said after helping the Coyotes shutout the Vikings. “There’s lot of depth at each position which is going to make the sophomores work harder because we don’t want freshmen to take our positions, but they’re pushing us.”
Bidart was named captain last year about half way through the season. She probably won’t remain the lone captain but is relishing her role.
“I’m excited to lead this group,” Bidart said. “I’m honored to be their captain. We’re probably gonna add more, and we’ve talked about it, but it’s kind of hard because there’s so many girls that have different qualities that they could bring to the table as a captain. There are a lot of good leaders out there.”
While Bidart is the backbone of the defense, Kenya Maltase generates goals for the offense.
The second leading goal scorer from a year ago, and an All-GVL forward, scored both goals Tuesday against West Valley in the first half.
“She may be a little shy off the field, but not on it,” said Coyotes head coach Jeremy Evans, who is in his third season leading the program.
Evans also mentioned that Maltase has several four-year colleges interested in her talents.
Rebecca Niblett, a midfielder/defender, from England, started every game for the Coyotes a year ago and this year is moving to her natural position.
Defender Megan Masters and midfielder Alondra Mata round out the five key returners that Evans is hoping can carry a heavy load.
“We had about 15 girls that were supposed to return this year but were scared off by the incoming freshmen, and they should have been,” Evans said. “But I still don’t know, if you had to put a gun to my head, to play a game tonight for real, I’m not sure I know who my best 11 is and that’s fine, it’s early. It’s a good problem.”
At Wednesday’s scrimmage with dark clouds, thunder blasting through the sky every few minutes and an on-and-off hard rain, the girls had a strong show of support.
“Tahoe is a soccer town and I think people are excited about this team,” Evans said. “I’ve had two full recruiting classes and so we have the most talent we’ve had in the program, which brings higher expectations. I like coaching with more expectations because there’s more pressure. I’m excited about this group and the community is excited and I think the fans that showed up here today are a reflection of that.”
The Coyotes finished second in the GVL last year with an 8-2-2 record and lost to two-time champion Lassen 1-0 both times they played. And that left a sour taste in Evan’s mouth.
“I thought it was a bad coaching job by me,” Evans said. “I thought we had the best talent in the league we just did not come together as a team. We’re gunning for that league title obviously and I think this is a team that can win the first league title in program history, but there’s a long way to go.”
The Coyotes freshmen include: Annie Brejc, Madison Boyd, Jenny Camacho, Jazmine Corvalan, Madison Escolar, Emma Dayberry, Claudia Janese, Brooke King, Maria Martinez, Mylene Moran, Isabella Oliva, Graciela Palencia, Araceli Romero, Madison Swalcy, Zareli Villa and Sydney Woodward.
The Coyotes start their season at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, against Sierra College at home. They open their league season at 2 p.m. Sept. 26 on the road at Lassen.