Third hat trick for Klahowya's hot Hodder

He shoots, he scores, he wins a hat.

Well, not really, but Klahowya forward Charlie Hodder deserves something for his play of late.

Hodder’s been on a torrid scoring pace, notching his third hat track in his last seven games to lead the Eagles to a 3-2 Nisqually League soccer victory on Thursday, April 11, at Silverdale Stadium.

Hodder, who didn’t find the back of the net in Klahowya’s first three games, has scored 12 goals in the Eagles’ last seven.

“I just started looking up I guess,” said the senior, who was having a tougher time locating his warmup jacket after the game than he did finding the back of the net on this cold windy day.

Of course, it’s not been as simple as “looking up.”

“We’ve been working on finishing drills a lot in practice,” said the four-year starter. “We needed somebody to step up and score some goals. That’s what I wanted to do.”

Hodder has always had the ability, said coach Troy Oeschlager.

“We knew we needed somebody to step up for us and score goals and we hoped it would be Charlie,” Oeschlager said. “It took him a few games to get his rhythm going, before he started to finish. It’s been nice.

“I think it was more of a mental thing with him. He took the pressure off himself and he’s just going out and having fun.”

Hodder has a scorer’s mentality, that knack for being in the right spot at the right time, Oeschlager said.

“He’s a smart player. He knows how to use his other teammates,” the Klahowya coach said.

The Klahowya forward seemed to be headed for a fourth goal with about 10 minutes left, but a disputed off-sides call denied him a shot at what would have been a sure breakaway situation.

Hodder’s first goal came in the 14th minute. After taking a pass from Ryan George, he went one-on-one with the keeper and won. In the 36th minute, he scored off a nice turnaround, curling the ball past the goalie.

Vashon, which had the wind at its back in the second half, pulled within 2-1 and seemed to be gaining momentum, but Hodder deflated the Pirates by scoring in the 59th minute on another breakaway. His first shot was knocked down by the Vashon keeper, but Hodder knocked in the rebound.

The win left the Eagles 4-3 in league play and 4-6 overall. Vashon dropped to 3-4 in league. Klahowya’s already clinched one of the league’s six playoff spots, but would like to earn a No. 3 seed, said Oelschlager. Steilacoom and Port Townsend are the class of the league with Eatonville, which beat Klahowya 2-0 earlier in the week, the next best team.

The Eagles play at Steilacoom on Tuesday, April 16.

“We’re improving,” Oelschlager said. “We’re moving the ball better. Jess Dimmen and Jake Greenwalt are doing a nice job and Charlie’s been finishing.”

Hodder’s in, as they say, the zone.

“Yeah, it feels like you can’t miss,” he said.

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