Matsubara's hat trick leads WCC men's soccer in win


Whatcom Community College's Ryo Matsubara had a hat trick as the WCC men's soccer team defeated Everett Community College 3-1 on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Orca Field.

"(Matsubara) is really smart about positioning himself. His best quality is his finishing, making the most of his opportunities," WCC coach Joel Grossman said in a phone interview. "He has a good combination of knowing where to be and anticipating the play."

ECC scored right at the beginning of the game, putting the Orcas in an early hole. But WCC stuck to its game plan and maintained possession to get more of its defenders forward and involved in the attack.

Two of Matsubara's goals came off of set pieces involving Codi Woodcock. On one free kick, Woodcock put the ball into the box and Matsubara headed it in. The other was a penalty kick Matsubara converted after Woodcock made what Grossman called a "great individual effort," dribbling the ball into the box and drawing a foul.

Matsubara's third goal was a "half-volley" that he scored after the ball came back at him on a deflected shot, Grossman said.

"He has a lot of soccer experience from playing in Japan," Grossman added. "He's a leader out there; he's really demanding of himself and his teammates."

Eli Holowatch also impressed Grossman with his play. Holowatch was battling a knee injury after his recent recovery from surgery on his ACL, but was able to tough out 60 minutes on defense. Davis Strawn and Jake Zlotek kept the back line strong, too.

WCC's next game is at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Edmonds Community College.

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