Men’s soccer team sends off senior stars


Senior forward Matt Hurlow dribbles by a defender. Photo credit: John Domogma

Matt Hurlow and Russell Ellyson have been a part of some great teams.

Both have made it to the NCAA Championships and set records that will be hard to beat all the while having the time of their lives playing the sport they love at Chico State. They are part of five departing seniors that include defenders Justin Walmsley and Sean Gallagher, and forward Octavio Murillo. The Orion got the chance to sit down with Hurlow and Ellyson as they reflected on their career as Wildcat.

Matt Hurlow

Senior forward Matt Hurlow. Photo courtesy of Chico Wildcats.

After graduating from Escondido High School in 2012, Hurlow came to Chico State and made an immediate impact. In his first year as a Wildcat, he scored the fastest goal in the school’s history just .08 seconds into the game.

“It was my most memorable on the field moment,” Hurlow said. “I took the ball from the defender right off the kick-off, dribbled once and just nailed over the defense and into the net. It was crazy.”

In 2013 when the Wildcats made it to the NCAA Championship Tournament, Hurlow scored the lone goal in their game against UC San Diego. With the teams tied at one, they turned to penalty kicks where the ‘Cats would come up short.

Last year, Hurlow led the team with six goals; this year he ended the season with four goals. Hurlow loved his time at Chico State and encourages his younger teammates to buy into what head coach Felipe Restrepo teaches them.

“If you buy into what he is saying, you have a chance to do something really special next season,” Hurlow said.

Russell Ellyson

Senior midfielder Russ Ellyson. Photo courtesy of Chico Wildcats.

Ellyson, a 2011 graduate of Argonaut High School, looks back on his career at Chico State and the one highlight that stands out to him is when the team made it all the way to the second round of the NCAA Championship Tournament.

“Getting to be part of the NCAA tournament was amazing,” Ellyson said. “It’s really cool and something that not a lot of people get to experience.”

Ellyson earned the CCAA All-Academic honors award from 2014-2015 and started all 17 games for the Wildcats.

Ellyson urges his younger teammates to enjoy being a part of the Chico State soccer family because before they know it, they’ll be graduating.

“The best advice I can give is enjoy it now, it goes by fast,” Ellyson said. “When you’re waking up at 6 a.m. to do your morning run it may seem like it lasts forever, but trust me, it won’t.”

Jason Spies can be reached at [email protected] or @Jason_Spies on Twitter.