Athlete of the Week: Mika Matsuda
By Jasmine Pankratz – Horizon Sports Editor
Most college students spend their summer relaxing with family and enjoying their time away from school. Not Mika Matsuda. Matsuda spent her summer improving her skills while playing for the Boston Aztecs, a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team that plays at a high competitive level at the top of the United States league system.
It’s not surprising, then, that Matsuda, a sophomore from Kyoto, Japan is this week’s, athlete of the week.
Matsuda is a starting midfielder for the Larks women’s soccer team. As a first year student, Matsuda finished 2nd in the nation and first team all region with 27 assists and 15 goals last year.
Those are stats that impress Coach Bryan Kehr.
“Mika is a technically skilled soccer player who practices very hard to have superior ball control,” he said.
But her stats aren’t her only impressive attributes.
“She is often seen working before and after practice to improve her skill and fitness,” Kehr said. “Her love for the game, her technical ability, and her joy at playing with her teammates makes Mika stand out.”
Attending her pre-season scrimmages, her high energy, aggression, and willingness to help her teammates shows on the field.
“From playing soccer with Mika I’ve learned that she leads by example through her hard work and discipline which makes her an awesome teammate,” fellow teammate, sophomore Rachel Brown said.