Independence Patriots, Midfielder, Ryan Howe
The Patriots soccer team in a rebuilding season has an 8-7 overall record and are 6-3 in the Southwestern 4A Conference. However, some players standout and this week Ryan Howe performed a rare hat trick scoring 3 goals in the Patriots 4-2 win over East Mecklenburg.
Also, extremely rare is to score all three goals in the second half of the match in just 40 minutes of competition. The Eagles were ahead 1-0 after the first half. The Pats regrouped and made some adjustments under head coach Tyler Gibson. They became more aggressive pushing the ball downfield creating more scoring opportunities on some accurate passing, breakaways and setting-up designed plays.
Howe and his teammates took full advantage of the opportunity. Inside the box, a rebound off the goalkeeper was promptly deposited into the right corner of the net by Howe on a header to tie the score 1-1 at 47:00 minutes into the match.
With the score 2-1 on a goal by Sundio Reh to give the Patriots a lead. Howe would score his second goal on a breakaway slamming a shot past the diving Eagles goalkeeper to score what turned out to be the winning goal to give Independence a 3-1 advantage.
Then on another breakaway Howe would take a pass on a steal, make a few nice ball control moves with good footwork past two defenders, and blast a shot into the left corner of the net for his third goal and hat trick with 3:00 minutes remaining in the match.
Howe is also a kicker on the Patriots football team which makes him a busy young man along with maintaining a full academic schedule.
The Mint Hill Times sports editor and writers want to congratulate Ryan Howe for being selected this weeks “Featured Player of the Week.”