Lake Tahoe Community College’s Boyd is GVC’s most valuable player
Madison Boyd planned on playing soccer for the University of Nevada Las Vegas after graduating from Arbor View High School in the same city.
The Lake Tahoe Community College star was a four-year high school varsity starter and helped her team win four straight state championships. She was the Defensive Player of the Year in her league as a senior and was first-team All-State her final two seasons. She was a three-star national recruit according to Top Drawer Soccer.
The girl could flat out play. But she wasn’t flat out studying. Her scholarship deal with UNLV fell through.
It turned out to be LTCC’s gain athletically, and academically.
Boyd has propped up her grades while also playing soccer at her same high level and was recently named the Golden Valley Conference’s Most Valuable Player after helping lead the Coyotes to historic success.
And if she keeps performing, there’s likely more opportunities coming her way after she finishes her planned two years at LTCC.
“She’s as committed and focused as they come,” said third-year head coach Jeremy Evans, who was named the conference’s Coach of the Year. “She knows why she messed up in high school and is using this as a learning opportunity.”
“When I heard, I was in shock,” Boyd said. “Defenders don’t usually get a lot of love. But I’m happy and proud of myself. When I told my mom, she started screaming. It’s really a blessing to me.”
Boyd along with sophomore Caitlyn Bidart and head coach Jeremy Evans collected three of the GVC’s top awards and a total of eight Coyotes were recognized.
Boyd came to the LTCC team later than most of the women and it took some time to adjust.
“There were a ton of freshmen and it was awkward at first, but I tried to make the best of it,” said Boyd, whose brother, Parker, played this past season with the LTCC men’s team. “And now I wouldn’t change any of the relationships I have. They’re relationships that could last a long time.”
Boyd’s contribution to the Coyotes’ success wasn’t scoring goals, but rather teaming with Bidart, the Defensive Player of the Year, to stop the other team from finding the net. Boyd scored two goals in 22 games and had three assists and Bidart did not score. But they combined with GVC first team goalkeeper Claudia Janese to record shutouts in 11 of 12 league games and give up just one goal.
“I couldn’t be more happy for the eight players recognized by the conference for their efforts,” Evans said. “With Boyd and Dart, you’re really splitting hairs at that point because that center back combination was probably the best in Northern California. And Claudia, in my opinion, was easily the best goalkeeper in the conference based on how she did against nationally-ranked opponents. But I think because we only gave up a handful of shots on goal during our 12 conference games, the other coaches just didn’t see her involved enough to be keeper of the year. That’s obviously a testament to how strong our defense was.”
Also making the GVC first team were freshman midfielder Melanie Ara and sophomore midfielder Rebecca Niblett. Ara, who was high school teammates with Boyd, scored nine goals and also had nine assists and Niblett scored 12 goals and had 11 assists. Niblett and Ara led the team with four game-winning goals each.
Freshman Zarelli Villa was a victim of the Coyotes success. The Truckee graduate led the team in goals with 17 and often played just one half with LTCC out to large, early leads in almost every league game. She may have scored 30 goals if Evans didn’t substitute freely with big leads. Villa was passed up for Offensive Player of the Year in favor of a Butte player who scored just one more goal, and was placed on the second team.
Freshmen Jazmine Corvalan, also a high school teammate of Boyd and Ara, and Graciela Palencia were named to the second team.
“Not wanting to sound greedy, but we should have been even more represented,” Evans said. “We had one of the most dominant, if not the most dominant, conference seasons ever, and a few players that are starters for us and were key players to our success were overlooked despite the fact they would star on other conference teams. But like it was all season, our team success was the important quality to our team and those left off or not given a player of the year award weren’t particularly bothered by the slight.”
LTCC has had 20 all-conference players since the program’s inception in 2014 and 16 in Evans first three years with the program. Boyd and Bidart are the program’s fourth and fifth players to earn player of the year honors. Corvalan’s 14 assists were seventh most in California. Palencia scored 12 goals and had 11 assists. Janese’s 17 shutouts and .33 goals against average were both among the top five in the state.