Athlete of the Week: Senior Matthew Iehl in soccer

Senior Matthew Iehl helped lead the men’s soccer team to their first state tournament since 2009 last season. 

What makes your sport special and different?

One thing that makes soccer unique is the constant flow of the game. When the game gets started, it doesn’t stop very often.

How long have you been into this sport, and what were the early days of your participation? 

I’ve been into this sport my entire life by watching my siblings play. The first time they put a ball in front of my feet and had me kick it I was about 3 years old. I played on my first rec team when I was 5 or 6, and since then there has been no looking back. 

How did/do you cope with any setbacks/losses you’ve experienced in your sport?

One of the major setbacks for my soccer career was having my sophomore season canceled because of COVID. Our season was looking very hopeful as our team had a lot of potential. However, we didn’t let the pandemic stop us from playing. Me and some of the other guys on the team would frequently still go play pickup soccer with each other to stay in touch with the game. 

Who has been particularly influential in helping your growth in this sport?

One of the most influential people for my soccer career has been coach Steffy. He was my first competitive soccer coach when I first made the competitive team at 12 years old, and he has supported me the whole way. 

What do you do to prepare yourself before a game?

Before the games I always just do my best to get dialed in and get focused. I visualize different scenarios in the game and help my teammates prepare mentally. 

How do you work on improving your skills in this sport?

Practice all the time. When I am not doing high school soccer I am doing club soccer. Throughout the winter we have multiple nights a week that we play together at the sportsplex so that way we are always getting better. 

What’s a personal skill that you are targeting lately?

Recently I have been working a lot on my finishing touches and the last strike. I want to be a guy that can put away chances when he gets them to help out my team as best as possible. 

What are your plans after high school?

After high school I plan to go to Iowa State University and major in mechanical engineering. I plan to continue playing soccer at the intramural level along with other sports. 

What’s the most rewarding thing about your sport?

For me the most rewarding part of my sport is spending time with my teammates. We always have a good time when we’re together, whether it’s on or off the soccer field. 

As you see it, what are the biggest tests remaining for you/your team yet this season?

We still have a lot of the season ahead of us with many tests along the way. The main goal for our team this season is to get back down to State and win some games at the big tournament.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.