Bidart signs to play soccer at LTCC |

Bidart signs to play soccer at LTCC

Caitlyn Bidart was direct when asked about the defensive role she played last fall as a senior for the Douglas High School girls soccer team.

“I was at center-back most of the time,” she said.

Coach Werner Christen was quick to point out that her contributions were more diverse — and valuable — than that during a season in which the Tigers compiled a 15-6-3 record on their way to the state tournament semifinals in November.

“Defensively, she was our backbone,” Christen said.

Bidart still has more goals in mind when it comes to soccer and she won’t have far to go to pursue those after committing to Lake Tahoe Community College on Thursday. She signed a letter-of-intent Thursday during a ceremony held before friends and coaches in the high school commons.

“Just having the opportunity to sign a player from Douglas, which in my opinion has been the best high school soccer program in Northern Nevada, is a huge feather in our young program’s cap,” said Jeremy Evans, who entering his second season as head coach of a South Lake Tahoe program that made its debut in 2014. “To me, Caitlyn was the best defender this past year. She’s played in a couple of state tournaments at the high school level, so I’m looking for her to come in and be a big-time player at the center-back position or anywhere else on the back line.”

Bidart was enthusiastic when she spoke about her step toward collegiate soccer.

“Last year, it was a whole new team and this year there are a lot of strong players coming up that I know, so I’m excited to see where that brings us,” said Bidart, who wore a blue Coyotes shirt for the signing.

In addition to a successful 2015 season when she earned first-team all-Sierra League honors, Bidart played an important role as a junior in 2014 when the Tigers went 24-1 and won the region tournament championship before they lost in the state semifinals.

“Caitlyn was a really big part of that (2014) team,” Christen said. “She wasn’t a starter, but we put Caitlyn in a whole bunch of different spots — we put her on the wing, on top, in the middle, we put her in the back, which was her natural position — and she helped us everywhere we put her.”

The Tigers’ No. 5 only improved during her senior season.

“Caitlyn usually guarded the other team’s best player up front,” Christen said. “We had a lot of strong forwards in the league this year so we’d put her on them, and more times than not she shut them down.

“And the best part about Caitlyn was her leadership,” he added. “She was a really good leader for this squad.”

Bidart didn’t hesitate when asked about her best game. That was the region semifinals when Douglas defeated Carson 3-1 in the region tournament semifinals.

“Honestly, I would say the Carson game,” she said. “That win got us to state.”

Bidart showed her versatility in a win that clinched a state berth for the Tigers.

“She played an amazing game,” Christen said. “Not only did she do great things in the back, she scored a huge goal that pretty much clinched the game for us against a team that had beaten us the week before.”

Bidart indicated that another of her goals is eventually to continue playing at a four-year school. In the meantime, she is looking forward to helping the Coyotes, who finished fourth in the Golden Valley Conference standings last year.

“They’re redoing the soccer field and actually creating a stadium for us and it’s a beautiful setting,” she said.

Evans said his plan is to bring in 15-17 new recruits who will help the team compete for the conference title this coming fall.

“Jeremy’s already built a nice little program up there and that’s a good conference,” Christen said. “She’s only going to get better with him coaching her.

“And Jeremy does a good job getting kids to four-year schools. This is a big deal and nobody deserves it more.”