Greene County News
FAIRBORN — In soccer, finding the narrow spaces to score is one of the primary challenges. For Wright State sophomore midfielder and Colorado native Mattie Cutts finding those spaces is her strong suit.
Cutts admits she is often asked why she decided to attend WSU, which is over 1,000 miles from her hometown of Colorado Springs. Having a quality coach in Pat Ferguson, attending a school that didn’t have an overwhelming size, being able to start by her second season and getting to stay with her teammates cemented the decision.
“I think Wright State had all the things on my list,” Cutts said. “It was a no brainer, even though it wasn’t somewhere that anybody had really heard of where I’m from. I think I made a great decision.”
The Colorado connection on the WSU roster was made deeper with the addition of transfer goalkeeper Katie Ruff from Northern Colorado this season. When Cutts played basketball as a freshman at Pine Creek High School she had a game against rival school Rampart, which is where Ruff was playing as a senior captain.
“I didn’t really know her (Ruff) at the time, but we still talk about it and think it is funny how we ended up here,” Cutts said.
Though Cutts hadn’t played any minutes in the Raiders’ Horizon League tournament semifinal match against Milwaukee last season, she was tasked with taking the fifth shot in penalty kicks. When it was her turn, Cutts kicked a shot into the left corner of the goal to clinch the historic victory for WSU.
Despite the weight of the moment, Cutts says she kept a calm demeanor.
“Honestly, I didn’t even think about it,” Cutts said. It was one of those surreal moments where you say, ‘How did I make that?”’
“I was really glad I had that opportunity and that he (Ferguson) trusted me to make it.”
Cutts’ name might start to become synonymous with ‘clutch,’ because of the goals she has continued to make. Her header to tie, after a 2-0 start by Ohio State earlier this season, stands out to Ferguson.
“Ohio State was ranked in the top 20 at that time,” Ferguson said. “It was just a great combination of effort, determination and skill that allowed her (Cutts) to score.”
In the Raiders’ recent 2-1 victory against Youngstown State, Cutts had another shining moment. She scored a golden goal in overtime. When asked about her knack to score goals at the right moment, she gave her assisting teammates credit.
“I attribute it to good work from my teammates to be able to get the ball into the box, to where I am even able to have a chance to finish it,” Cutts said.
Ferguson believes Cutts’ leadership is shown by her drive to improve, which includes putting in the training hours and listening to advice from the coaching staff.
“She (Cutts) had a rough first year, in terms of fitness and playing time,” Ferguson said. “However, she worked very hard over the summer, and it’s paid off.”
After a strong 4-0-1 start for the Raiders in conference play, hosting the Horizon League tournament in November is a possibility for WSU. Though Cutts says this idea is in the back of her mind, it has still been discussed amongst her teammates.
Cutts said, “We talk about it and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to host the tournament? We get to sleep in our own beds and not travel.’”
Cutts has already shown glimpses of greatness in her short Raider career, but Ferguson feels she hasn’t reached her ceiling as a player.
“I think she is about halfway to where she can be as a player. She is constantly improving and will get there,” Ferguson said. “She could be a dominant player in our league and potentially play beyond college.”