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Kelsea Matthews not detered by injuries

Kelsea+Matthews+dribbles+a+soccer+ball+with+her+legs+in+the+Moorpark+Stadium.+The+Oregon+University+transfer+student+is+team+captain+for+Raiders+women%27s+soccer+team+this+season.+Photo+credit%3A+Mathew+Miranda
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Kelsea Matthews not detered by injuries

Kelsea Matthews dribbles a soccer ball with her legs in the Moorpark Stadium. The Oregon University transfer student is team captain for Raiders women's soccer team this season. Photo credit: Mathew Miranda

Kelsea Matthews dribbles a soccer ball with her legs in the Moorpark Stadium. The Oregon University transfer student is team captain for Raiders women's soccer team this season. Photo credit: Mathew Miranda

Kelsea Matthews dribbles a soccer ball with her legs in the Moorpark Stadium. The Oregon University transfer student is team captain for Raiders women's soccer team this season. Photo credit: Mathew Miranda

Kelsea Matthews dribbles a soccer ball with her legs in the Moorpark Stadium. The Oregon University transfer student is team captain for Raiders women's soccer team this season. Photo credit: Mathew Miranda

By Mathew Miranda

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After a year and a half at Oregon State University, 20-year-old Nursing major Kelsea Matthews has returned to Simi Valley to play defender for Moorpark College’s women’s soccer team.

Although the last three years have been riddled with injuries, she endures the pain and challenges because of her love of the game. Matthews enjoyed her three semesters at OSU, but acknowledges the difficulties of playing Division I soccer.

“Unfortunately soccer did not go my way,” said Matthews. “I came in with a broken arm, so I already started off on a bad foot.”

During the fall semester of her second year, she dealt with concussions that also caused her to miss classes. After deciding to change her major, she was unable to continue attending OSU due to the university not having a nursing program. Matthews began her tenure at Moorpark College in the spring of 2015 and started the semester on the fence about joining the soccer program.

Head coach Miguel Ruiz met Matthews at a young age while coaching her brother. Ruiz urged her to attend a few practices and rediscover her love for the game. Matthews quickly bonded with the team, and Coach Ruiz quickly acknowledged that.

“She’s been a good addition to [the] team, obviously from her experience coming from a Division I program in the Pac-12 that is competitive,” said Ruiz. “She’s a good leader for us and is well respected by the team. Overall, it has been fun to coach her and have her here with us.”

Matthews plays center back, the position that defends the area directly in front of the goal and prevents opposing players from scoring. Her teammates appreciate her ability to communicate on the field and feel she is vital to the team.

“She is really encouraging and super smart on the field,” said Raiders midfielder Samantha Ring. “Since she is the center back and can see all of us, she is always good at giving us directions.”

Matthews cites her dad and brother, both of whom played soccer, as huge influences in her athletic career. She began playing soccer at age 5 and instantly became enthralled with being part of a team. Matthews played throughout her childhood, then went on to start all four years at Royal High School in Simi Valley. She vows to never let something minor take away from her ability to help this club.

“I’m not going to miss games for my team, of course there’s pain, but if I can make that tackle, make that play, it’s worth the pain,” said Matthews. “Everything about soccer is worth it to me.”

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