Photo by Miles Tintle
If you looking for the prototype of what college coaches are looking for in a major Division I midfielder, we refer you to Exhibit A.
His name is Ryan Matthews.
The Manhasset senior has size, speed, a strong shot and exceptional stick skills.
He was also as equally impressive on the football field (as evidenced by his highlight film in that sport) as he’s been in lax. (You can check his most recent lax highlight film here.)
Matthews, who has been on varsity since his freshman year, also has strong bloodlines.
His uncle, Brian Matthews, was a captain at Yale, where he graduated in 1979. Matthews’ father, Greg Matthews, played in four national championship games at Hopkins from 1982-85 (winning in ’84 and ’85) and is third all-time in career faceoff winning percentage.
Hopkins is also Ryan’s college destination.
But for now, he’s focused on his final spring as an Indian. Manhasset is looking to win a state title for the third time in the last four years.
Here are Ryan’s perspectives on the season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
Well, since I tore my right ACL during the fourth game of the football season, I’ve been working diligently in physical therapy . Along with physical therapy, I have also been weight training and continuing to work on stick skills. Improving my shooting accuracy has been a major focus as well.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
We have a great schedule this season. We start up with scrimmages against Farmingdale and Ridgefield (Conn.). I am looking forward to playing at Calvert Hall for the first time, and of course, playing Chaminade, Garden City and Darien again.
The two meetings vs. Garden City were definitely memorable games last season. What are your thoughts about this year’s Woodstick Classic and the possibility of meeting Garden City again in the postseason?
Although last year’s Woodstick Classic did not turn out the way we would’ve liked, the 6-5 loss in the county championship was tougher and has motivated us in the off-season. We’ve been working hard as a team in the weight room and also during winter practices. Our goal as seniors is to bring the Woodstick back home and win the state championship.
What player or players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
Our whole team is continuing to improve with every week that goes by in the offseason. However, Tommy Wenk, Evan Molloy, Kevin Katzmann, Christian Zanetis, Stephen Pate and Alessandro Troia are seniors that I feel will definitely surprise people this year.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
I believe our teamwork is going to be our strength this year. We look very good on both sides of the ball. If we can play as a team, we will achieve our goal, which is to win the Class B state championship, one game at a time.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
Our first year in Class B was new for us, but our team adjusted very well and we advanced to the county championship. This year, our team has a better understanding of what we need to do in order to get back to the county finals. Wantagh and Garden City look like the contending teams to beat.
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Player’s perspective archive
* If you’re a player from the region and would like to share your perspectives on the 2012 season, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can check out the more than 90 stories by clicking here.
* For a look at how schedules for teams from throughout the region for the 2012 season are shaping up, be sure to check out the “Schedules galore” thread.