LTCC women’s soccer No. 1 in national poll
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Lady Coyotes are moving on up.
In the latest United Soccer Coaches Top 25 NJCAA DIII Women’s poll that was released Tuesday, Lake Tahoe Community College is ranked No. 1 for the first time.
“It’s been quite a ride from no program in 2014 to No. 1 in the nation,” said head coach Jeremy Evans.
The Coyotes tied Fresno, now the No. 2 team in the nation, 1-1, last Friday on the road.
The tie combined with a loss by the top-ranked team, Richland College, pushed LTCC from No. 2 to the top spot.
“We still have a ways to go, and while this ranking is a nice pat on the shoulder moment for the players, it means nothing,” Evans said. “Fresno really challenged us like no team has this season, and the prospect of having to beat that team on the road or another team like Fresno, which will happen in Northern California, isn’t something I am confident in at the moment. We need to get better, we need to play 90 minutes, we need to come out with a stronger mentality. We still concede cheap goals and don’t seem to be bothered by it. That mentality will end our season prematurely. At the same time, we have lots of freshmen who are still adjusting to the demands of being a collegiate athlete. They need to understand this isn’t high school or club, and our expectations are different in this program than other ones. Once the team fully buys into that philosophy, this team has limitless potential. So, like all teams, we need to be a better team in November than September, and I think we will be.”
Alex Trinidad, who graduated from Sunrise Mountain in Las Vegas, scored in the 13th minute of the first half on a “beautiful” combination from Lauren Wolcott and Angie Hurtado.
Fresno got even right before halftime and the team’s played scoreless over the last 45 minutes.
Trinidad, who is receiving interest from D1 and D2 four-year colleges, is the team’s scoring leader with eight goals and three assists and Wolcott is right behind with eight goals and two assists.
Hurtado, a first-team Golden Valley Conference and all-state performer last year from Sparks, is third on the team with three goals and two assists.
Isabella Wakeling and Valeria Martinez, both standouts at Carson High School and starters for the Coyotes, are making big impacts.
Wakeling carries a 4.0 grade point average and is one of the quickest, most explosive athletes in the state and is garnering interest from larger colleges.
Martinez is a Swiss army knife on the field and is used by Evans to play several positions.
South Tahoe graduates who are starters include: Jennifer Valdivia, Ana Garcia, Lillie McGuire, while key reserve players include Jocelyn Barajas, Ahlyssa Gonzalez and Andrea Vasquez.
Twelve of the 20 players on this team are from Las Vegas, Carson City, South Tahoe and Reno/Sparks.
The Coyotes are unbeated this season (7-0-2).
Over the past two years, 2017 and 2018, and through nine games this season, LTCC has suffered just four losses while recording nine ties and 44 victories.
They have surrendered just two goals in GVC play over the past two seasons while outscoring teams 67-1 and 82-1, respectively.
The Coyotes have also been nationally ranked in 17 consecutive polls and in the top five in 13 straight.
They open conference play at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, against Butte at LTCC. The boys play the early game at 2 p.m.