Dynamic Midfield Duo Part 2: Kaitlin Smith Signs to Continue Soccer Career at Fairmont State

By Julie Perine on February 07, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

When Kaitlin Smith and Lacy Bryant received Big 10 honors at the conclusion of the 2017 Bridgeport High School soccer season, Coach John Reese said those accolades were well-deserved. He also referred to the pair of seniors as his dynamic midfield duo.
 
Beginning in August, they will be Fairmont State University’s dynamic duo. Bryant and Smith both signed letters of intent this afternoon to continue their soccer career with the Fighting Falcons.
 
“They have been two very good center mids,” Reese said. “They complement each other and just do well together.”
 
Smith is a self-starter and has good work ethic. To be in the best shape possible for the 2017 BHS soccer season, she was out running on her own through the summer months, Reese said. She’s very coachable and played an important role in the Lady Indians’ last four seasons.
 
“One thing Kaitlin did for us is she had that long-range shot. She’s just excellent at shooting the ball. She puts it right on target,” Reese said. “We had people making runs and she could pass it right to them.”
 
Reese forsees Smith emerging on the college soccer field as a defensive mid-fielder. She’s excellent with passing – getting the ball where it needs to go, he said. 
 
Bryant and Smith were instrumental in a winning season for the Tribe. The Lady Indians went 13-4-5, ultimately falling in the sectional final, losing 3-2 to Robert C. Byrd, which went on to win the state Class AA title.
 
According to field stats recorded on the Max Preps Web site, Smith is credited for six goals and three assists. Smith, as is Bryant, is soccer smart; sees the field and can strategize for the good of the team. The girls have also been great team leaders, always including and encouraging underclassmen, Reese said. 
 
Smith said there are a handful of reasons she decided to continue her education and soccer career at FSU. 
 
 
As some of her former BHS teammates have gone onto play there, she has followed the Fighting Falcon soccer program in recent years. She said she liked the direction the program was headed and when Coach Brandon Heembrock expressed interest in her, she was both excited and honored.
 
“After meeting with the coaching staff and listening to how the program was to be run - from not only the playing of the game, but also academic excellence - I knew it was the right place for me,” Smith said.
 
FSU was also the right place for both her parents, Donna and Paul, as well as her older brother Logan.
 
“My parents attended Fairmont State University and my brother is currently a starting pitcher on the Falcon baseball team,” she said.
 
Smith said she really likes the layout of the campus and the academic programs it offers. The fact that it’s close to home is icing on the cake.
 
“Coach Brandon and Coach Abbey (Lindblad) have made me feel very welcome to the school and were helpful in showing me what the school had to offer,” she said.
 
Smith started playing soccer when she was just five years old and has loved everything about the game since.
 
“I have played the center-mid position, see the field well and have a strong leg,” she said. “I enjoy taking corner kicks and feel it is a strong positive part of my game.”
 
Growing up, Smith was very active with the Mountain State Soccer Club and traveled to numerous tournaments to compete.
 
Smith, who also plays basketball for the Lady Indians, said she has many fond memories associated with BHS athletics. Among the best is her freshman year of soccer when the Lady Indians advanced to the state championship. Being able to compete on that level at such a young age was inspiring and encouraging. She said she also enjoyed her senior year and being a team leader – aspiring to make her teammates better both on and off the field.
 
Smith plans to study elementary education or business at FSU.
 
“I have always had a love for children and feel I can make an impact on their lives,” she said. “I also have aspirations of one day possibly owning my own business.”
Throughout her high school soccer career, Smith has received West Virginia All-State Honors and has been named BB&T Player of the Week.
 
A member of Jewel City Church, Smith said she publicly thanks God for giving her athletic ability and granting these opportunities associated with soccer and her post-secondary education. 
 
Pictured above with Smith are BHS Girls' Soccer Coach John Reese, Assitant Coach Valerie Barlow, former Assitant Coach Melissa Miller and her parents, Donna and Paul. 


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