Updated Sep 15, 2005 17:48:13
Bethay One of Keys in Techster Soccer Success
by Amber Miles
Tech Media Relations
Kodi Bethay didn't take into account the first year woes of Louisiana Tech soccer before signing on to the 2005-06 squad. She just knew she wanted to a part of a successful program.
And the freshman forward from Geismar, Louisiana knows a bit about success.
At Dutchtown High School in Louisiana, she helped lead the Griffin to the District 7-4A title in 2004 and the state quarterfinals. As a senior in 2005, Bethay was named first team all district, district 7-4A defensive MVP, all state, first team all metro, Eagle Offensive MVP, all parish, team captain and team offensive MVP.
She earned academic all state honors for soccer, volleyball and softball in 2005 and was named first team all-metro and the all-metro team Offensive MVP in 2004. In 2004, Bethay was named first team all-state and team MVP. She scored 30 goals as a junior.
While living in Wisconsin, Bethay lettered as a freshman and sophomore at Milton High School and helped lead Milton to the conference title and state playoffs both years. She was named all-conference honorable mention as a freshman and first team all-conference as a sophomore.
For the past two years, she played for the Baton Rouge Soccer Club and helped lead the team to the 2004 state championship and the quarterfinals of the regional tournament.
Head coach Jen Soileau said after watching Bethay play in high school, she knew she would be an asset to the team.
"I had to play against her when I coached in high school, and her athletic ability was the most attractive quality to me," Soileau said. "You cannot teach a player speed and physical play, you can teach them technique and tactics, so she was a good pick up for us."
Soileau said Bethay, who can play multiple positions, has made an impact on the team.
"Kodi's individual strengths are that she is a very physical player that is not afraid to tackle," Soileau said. "She is also very fit and can run for 90 minutes. She has been doing a better job finding the back of the net and finishing her chances on goal."
Bethay chose to remain in Louisiana, and she chose to bring her positive, winning attitude to Tech.
"The first year they didn't have a recruited class, just walk-ons," Bethay said. "We are the first recruited class, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to make history."
And making history is just what Bethay and the team has done this season. Louisiana Tech's soccer team made history Aug. 28 as it recorded its first win ever with a 2-0 home victory over Mississippi Valley State.
The Lady Techster soccer team won its fifth-straight match with an 8-1 victory over the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sept. 14.
Already two players, forward Emily Cleaveland and defender Savanna Russo, have been named the Western Athletic Conference women's soccer offensive and defensive Players of the Week.
Bethay contributes the new direction to the coaching staff and the desire the players have.
"(Coach Soileau) understands what it's like to be player, and she's very hands on with the girls," Bethay said. "As players, we're all in the same boat. We've all chosen to step it up and prove we can have a good season."
Bethay said one of the differences between high school soccer and college is the team effort.
"At the high school level it can be individual, but here when the goal comes it doesn't matter who scores. We're winning for our team, and we all do our parts," she said.
And even though it is a team effort, Bethay said, "Every time I score, I get tingles."
Bethay is fired up about the present and about the future of the season.
"We want to continue having a winning season, especially at home games," she said. "We also want to go into the WAC and hold our own. And we want to go to the conference tournament."
Bethay said the players have learned to communicate on the field, and they've adjusted to playing with each other.
"We've all come together, and as players we complement each other," she said. "Over the years we're going to be very successful."