Not many sophomore soccer players can say they have had a hat trick in high school.
Henley’s Ryane Mattox can.
Before a Thursday’s season opener for the Henley girls soccer team against Lakeview, Mattox has had her share of hat tricks before.
She counted near three hat tricks she had in classic soccer but being an underclassman in varsity soccer, things did not always come easy.
Mattox made it look simple against the Honkers as her feat helped her team to victory, 4-1.
Junior Kaytee Nelson started the Hornets off with a goal five minutes into the matchup.
Nelson was in the perfect spot off a corner kick from sophomore Kendry Gordon. From 10 feet out, Nelson retrieved the ball and shot it in the net.
Mattox then seized her moment.
During the 19th minute of the first half, Mattox found the net as well off a pass from Beth Hamilton.
Her following goal likely was the most challenging.
After a through ball was sent from Gordon, Mattox attempted to take control of the ball as she was in a race with Lakeview’s Sierra Zendejas before she found just enough room and shot the ball to the right side of the net for a score seven minutes into the second half.
Lanie Cox took credit for Mattox’s final goal when she passed the ball to her in the penalty box.
Mattox broke free of a Lakeview defender and found herself alone and calmly kicked the ball into the right bottom corner of the goal.
“It was definitely a confidence booster and a great way to start off my season. Hopefully, I can go out and do that every other game. Let’s hope,” Mattox said. “I was motivated for that first goal because I was mad but then the rest were for my team.”
After helping lead the Mazama boys soccer program to three playoff appearances, Mike Hedlund is now the head coach of the girl’s soccer team at Henley.
After four-year coach Tiffany Poe stepped down as the varsity coach this past spring, Hedlund saw his opportunity to take over the reign.
“I have watched most of them play soccer with my daughters since they were in grade school so when the opportunity came to coach them, as well as my daughter (Gracelyn), I couldn’t resist,” Hedlund said. “We’re trying to make sure that they have a purpose when they kick the ball. They have been working hard since July and it’s a slow process but they are coming along really well.”
Henley’s defense held the Honkers to 12 shots in the contest, while the Hornets offense had 24.
The Hornets very well could have kept the Honkers scoreless until junior Sammy Conley found the net for Lakeview with eight minutes left in the game. Conley scored off a rebound and was left alone with Henley’s goalkeeper.
“We have a really young team so it has been awesome to see how we can actually play. It has finally clicked for us and I hope we can keep doing it. We are just trying to get people to talk and move,” Henley defender Josie Hamilton said. “We have really worked on being a team and not just have it be a make a run and shoot kind of thing. As a defender, we take being aggressive really serious back there. We tried a new formation so we were trying to get comfortable.”
Looking to avenge
Lakeview’s seniors have made the playoffs the last two seasons and are poised to go further into the postseason after having bad luck in the playoffs during their last two apperances.
The Honkers made it to the semifinals their sophomore year and held their ground before they fell in a shoot out.
The following season, the team’s season ended in overtime just before getting back to the quarterfinals.
“We started practice on August 19, and took a whole week off because of the fair in town, so we have not really practiced much,” Lakeview’s Hannah Suba said. “This was a great game to get ourselves ready for what is to come.”
“We do not mean to be bossy. We want to help the freshman and sophomores,” Zoey Suba said. “Juniors know what to do but we still want to put them in place and show everyone what we have to do to make this a season to remember for everyone.”
The Honkers have six seniors on their roster this season, many who have played with each other since they were 5 years old.
“We are using the playoff losses as motivation because we know we are capable,” senior Carmelina Arredondo said. “We are pushing everyone but our freshman are really understanding. We have been there before and we just want to go one game further in the playoffs.”