By: Brian Lee, News Writer
The Lady Knights cruised to victory against TCIS on Feb. 26, as they trampled on their opponents’ turf. This was the first win over their rivals since the team’s inception seven years ago.
The “Sister School Classic” has always been a fierce battle between the two schools who have never wanted anything more but to emerge victorious against one another. Angela Park, a junior, stated, “I think that us being sister schools in the past played a big factor into how motivated we were before the game.”
Senior and co-captain of the varsity soccer team, Danielle Hanji Kim, has been waiting for this ever since she joined the team six years ago. “I think everyone had the same goal in mind: to make history by beating our ex-sister school for the first time.” Danielle viewed every game against TCIS as an opportunity to exact revenge for the girls’ previous losses.
Sarah Kil, senior,has been on the team for six years, reiterated, “We have to win. We really have to win. Our motivation to win was definitely a big part in our victory against TCIS.” This especially rang true to the other seniors who were on the team. “A lot of the seniors were excited because it was their last game against TCIS, so our motivations and our excitement to play were much higher this year. It was something that we wanted to accomplish and it was our last chance.”
Coach Harding, has managed the girls varsity team for four years and vividly remembers how the game unfolded. “I think it all started with the bus ride down, just preparing ourselves mentally and preparing ourselves with prayer. Right from the get go, our players were working hard, running hard, challenging every ball, and it was apparent to me on the sidelines that we were every bit as good as them.”
Danielle believed that the improvements of her teammates were crucial in their victory over TCIS. She noted, “Compared to the previous years, we could rely on each other more. It wasn’t just one person trying to figure things out, but as a whole, we tried to talk to each other, help each other, and be there for each other. Skill-wise, I think we really see the game as a whole and not just kicking the ball around. We really knew the objective of the game.”
The Lady Knights were able to employ tactics that countered the relentless offense that TCIS brought to the field. Most of the focus was on the defensive side, as the girls lined up a 4-1-3-2 formation, in order to be strong in the back and control the midfield.
Sarah emphasized, “Most of our focus was on our defense. If you don’t let in a goal, at least you don’t lose. We knew we had skilled players up front like Danielle, and some of the new freshmen like Janice. So we were pretty confident that as long as the defense was strong, we would have a good chance to win.”
On the 45-minute mark “we took a hard shot on net, the goalkeeper couldn’t pick it up cleanly, there was a mad scramble in front, and Jennifer Choi poked it away for the 1-0 win,” commented Coach Harding.
After the girls took the lead, they never looked back until the final whistle blew. The Lady Knights, for the first time, were finally able to celebrate a victory over their rivals. Many of the girls felt elated as this elusive feat had finally been accomplished.
Danielle said, “At first, I kind of couldn’t believe that we won, because just two years ago, we would lose to them by big margins, but after we won, it was like a dream come true.”
The Lady Knights finished their season in second place for both the KAIAC conference and the tournament.