Is it Underrated?

A question that arises in the field of every sport: are girls’ underrated with sports?

Precise. Control. Accuracy. Pass after pass. Kick after kick. The perfect measurement of the foot in collision with the smooth ball creates a crisp pop sound, an indication that the ball was satisfyingly kicked. As the net juts back to receive the impact of the spinning ball’s force, the buoyant  sound of the crowd joins the huddled team’s celebration cheer. GOAL. The scent of dirt and grass lingers on the uniform and the constant concentration on the twenty white and twelve black hexagon designed ball for 80 minutes straight. The nostalgic scent brings back the nostalgic memories in the legacy that the girls have created for the past few years.

Korea International School Varsity Soccer. The girls’ and boys’ teams have started off strong with 1-0 win from boys and 6-1 win from girls. Despite the outstanding performance of both teams, it seems like this statement always pops up: the girls won with more goals, because it was easier for them. But what’s the difference? The teams both play soccer, right? But the crowds and cheers are definitely bigger for the boys’ home games than the girls’. The girls may complain about their practices or bruises, but people question the girls, expressing doubt. “Do you girls run more suicides than the boys? I don’t think so.” Or “You girls don’t even get hurt during soccer games, but the boys are always on the ground.”

So, is the girls’ soccer team underrated? Let’s hear some opinions from people within and outside of the soccer team.

Do you think that the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team at KIS is underrated? If so, what makes you think that?

“Personally no. The girls rarely lose any games…”

  • Ricky Seo, goalie for Boys’ Varsity Soccer (‘18)

“Although I often can’t make it to the games, I hear little bits and conversations about them. Most of the time, they are about the boys’ physicality and how that resulted in yellow cards, but I never hear about the girls. However, when I look at the statics during yearbook for the girls’ soccer games, it shows surprising results of consecutive wins.”

  • San Yun (‘18)

“I think it is kind of underrated because 1. They have a winning streak, but no one really says much. There is no news about the girls games and results. In general I just think that the girls should be advertised more.”

  • Yerina Kim (‘18)

“I do think the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team at KIS is underrated. Many factors contribute to my stance, but the most principal would be the fact that we are girls. Soccer is a worldwide popular sport, unrivaled by any other. However, when we discuss the term “soccer,” there is an unexpressed but obvious message: ‘men’s soccer.’ Whether it be founded on a historical or physical background, women in sports have faced derogatory remarks, often being compared to men. And the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team was not an exception. You often ask KIS students and faculty if they are coming to a home game or not, and the response you get is not a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but rather a question of who plays first, girls or boys? Why does this matter? They both play “soccer,” right?  I think it should take on a new meaning. The relative performance does not depend on gender but of skill. This season, girls have been performing extremely well setting records such as 7:1, 6:0, and on. It is time for the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team to take a new meaning for the KISians.”

  • Jee-In Kwon, a defender of the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team (‘18)

“Yes, I think the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team at KIS is underrated. Despite the fact that the girls were undefeated and 1st place for both KAIAC, Korean-American Interscholastic Activies Conference,  conference and tournament, our team is still not as known as other sports teams in our school. Even at home games, people either only stay for the boys’ game or don’t even come on the days girls play first, thinking that girls soccer game is not worth a watch because it will not be “fun”. I hope people recognize our team’s hard work. Our next home game is on April 19th against GSIS and I encourage all of you to come and support our team!”

  • Alice Yoo, a defender of the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team (‘18)

 

The question also rises in the professional field where men and women have a contrasting difference in pay, safety, and etc.

So although you may have not witnessed the girls do those belly-diving headers, rabona, or the roulette, just know that’s not what makes the game: it’s the teamwork.

That being said, please come support the girls AND boys at the last home game on April 19th!

Featured Image: Sydney Rich (’18)

– Tae- Young Uhm (’18)

 

Good Season, Team

After countless victories and championships, the 2015 Varsity Soccer Teams recount on their season.

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The 2015 soccer season is, undoubtedly, one of the best soccer seasons that KIS has ever had. From AISA to KAIAC championships and countless victories and incredible goals, this year’s season definitely seems like a memorable one.

Here are eight brief interviews with four new players (Clare Kwon, Gayoung Lee, Andy Cheigh, James Kwon) and four returning players (Annie Na, Michelle Yoo, Steve Kim, Kevin Hong) reflecting on seasons in the past, present, and future.


NEW PLAYERS:

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Clare Kwon (’18), Gayoung Lee (’17), Andy Cheigh (’17), James Kwon (’16)

  1. What’s the best thing about this year’s team?
  2. One word to describe the season
  3. Favorite memory on/off the field?
  4. Any improvements you’d like to see?
  5. What’s the worst thing to do at practice?
  6. What are you most looking forward to being on the team in the coming years?

 

Clare Kwon (‘18)

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(L-R): Clare Kwon, Gayoung Lee
  1. What’s the best thing about this year’s team? The best thing about this year’s team is how much we have pulled through over the season. This year’s team is really new with only 10 returning members from last season. There were 11 fresh, brand new players, and for some of them, it was even their first time playing full-field. Honestly, we all didn’t know if we would be able to pull it through since the team was so new; however, the effort and hard work everyone put into brought us good results and success.
  1. One word to describe the season. Nonstop
  1. Favorite memory on/off the field? on the field: SIS game Our first loss to SIS was on our home field, when we lost to SIS 2:0. It was a shock for all of us, but we didn’t have anything to say since we all knew we could have done better. So, we ran our butts off and ran our hardest in our next game against SIS on their field. 5:0, it was a big victory, and we surely deserved it! off the field: just talking and eating with everyone Honestly, all the time I spend with everyone off the field is just one happy memory. Talking with the upperclassmen, cheering on the boys, eating food with the team, they will all add up to one happy memory I’ll have at the end.
  1. Any improvements you’d like to see? I just hope we would do our best during AISA and KAIAC tournaments. I really hope there wouldn’t be losses that we could have prevented if we tried harder.
  1. “What’s the worst thing to do at practice?” I guess running and conditioning…It is the best, but also the worst thing to do at practice. The moment of conditioning…is really painful and hard, but after I finish, it feel really good and accomplished. I know that the pain will pay off since it will make me in better shape.
  1. What are you most looking forward to being on the team? I’m just looking forward to the few weeks left in the season. I wish I’ll make more memories with each and every member in the team, especially the seniors leaving next year! 🙂

 

Gayoung Lee (‘17)

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(L-R): Clare Kwon, Gayoung Lee
  • What’s the best thing about this year’s team? I met phenomenal soccer players as well as the coaches. Since this season was my first year of soccer, I struggled a lot in the beginning… and they’re the ones who made me come all the way through until now!
  • One word to describe the season UNFORGETTABLE
  • Favorite memory on/off the field? There was this day when the coaches and managers prepared a surprise party for us because we were all despondent of loss against SIS. The practice was extended two hours and we thought that exhausting conditioning was waiting for us, but instead, coaches prepared us foods and a video that contained encouraging words from last year’s seniors! That day is the day that surely no one in our team is going to forget..
  • Any improvements you’d like to see? I personally want to improve on my soccer skills and be better the next season. If this season was a 50% of becoming used to the mood and drills, next season would be 100%!
  • What’s the worst thing to do at practice? Nothing?
  • What are you most looking forward to being on the team in the coming years? Becoming like family members with the whole team, and improving my soccer skills as I mentioned previously!

 

Andy Cheigh (‘17)

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(L-R): Andy Jaehyun Cheigh, Chris Chung, Hyukjae Choi, Dong-Gi Lee, Danny Jun Lee, Ben Jung, Joo Kim.
  • What’s the best thing about this year’s team? It’s probably our seniors. Their ways of playing soccer really help me learn more and get better.
  • One word to describe the season Tight
  • Favorite memory on/off the field? Jeongsoo Park’s AISA tournament  (SIS game)
  • Any improvements you’d like to see? I really don’t know…
  • What’s the worst thing to do at practice? Suicides!
  • What are you most looking forward to being on the team in the coming years? New members!

 

James Kwon (‘16)

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Top: Charlie Park, Bottom (L-R): James Kwon, Seungmin Kuk
  • What’s the best thing about this year’s team? Thuengmin and Gayoung
  • One word to describe the season Determined
  • Favorite memory on/off the field? Promposal by Seungmin/Charlie/whoever’s next…
  • Any improvements you’d like to see? Some improvements could be that our team could pass the ball more and take practices more seriously
  • What’s the worst thing to do at practice? Sprints! or Spider Man
  • What are you most looking forward to being on the team in the coming years? Captain Kuk

 


Returning Players

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Annie Na (’15), Michelle Yoo (’15), Steve Kim (’15), Kevin Hong (’15)

  1. What’s the best thing about this year’s team?
  2. One word to describe the season
  3. Favorite memory on/off the field?
  4. Any improvements you’d like to see?
  5. What’s the worst thing to do at practice?
  6. How have things changed since you first joined the team?

 

Annie Na (‘15) – Captain

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(L-R): Michelle Yoo, Annie Na
  • What’s the best thing about this year’s team? The best thing about this year’s team is that everyone is so close with one another and it’s like one big family and like the team isn’t divided into groups like before.
  • One word to describe the season Competent
  • Favorite memory on/off the field? When we bonded as a team, playing mafia. It’s always so intense on the field but I love how we can also engage with one another off the field as person to person instead of merely through soccer.
  • Any improvements you’d like to see? By this point, I don’t think there is much improvement to make except for keeping up the basic rules of the team- first to, communicate, crashing the post. Besides that, because I know that these girls can play intense soccer, so I’ll leave the rest to themselves.
  • What’s the worst thing to do at practice? Um… skipping it?
  • How have things changed since you first joined the team? I like to think that the Varsity Girls Soccer Team is consistent with itself in that the upperclassmen are always encouraging and welcoming of the lowerclassmen on and off the field. I guess nothing’s really changed except for the people; the intensity and the bonding of the team is the same as long as I can remember.

 

Michelle Yoo (‘15) – Captain

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(L-R): Shea Drake, Yena Kim, Michelle Yoo, Sara Drake, Annie Na
  • What’s the best thing about this year’s team? Team bonding, everyone’s so chill
  • One word to describe the season Unforgettable
  • Favorite memory on/off the field? Playing mafia
  • Any improvements you’d like to see? More fun practices
  • What’s the worst thing to do at practice? I never really liked the 3 vs. 2 drill that we do.
  • How have things changed since you first joined the team? I value soccer more now.

 

Steve Kim (‘15) – Captain

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  • What’s the best thing about this year’s team? They say the greatest blessing is enjoying what you do and at the same time, being the very best at it. The 2014-15 Varsity Boys Soccer Team’s passion for the sport is unparalleled to that of any professional team and as we continue to enjoy what we do, our spectacular results speak for themselves. Out of the three trophies up for grabs, we have secured one at AISA, have our fingertips on the other (KAIAC League), and are the strongest competitors for the last (KAIAC Tournament). As athletes, there is no better thing than winning titles and trophies. However, it is not all about winning for us as we are supplemented with lively team atmosphere, tight relationship across grade levels, and just overall the greatest way to wrap up my high school life.
  • One word to describe the season Determination
  • Favorite memory on/off the field? So far, winning the AISA Tournament was without a doubt, the best moment of the season. The tournament started on a Friday with 15 boys and ended on Sunday with 11 remaining due to severe injuries. It is such a valuable experience because everyone worked so hard to win game after game. It is a feeling like no other to have ten of the greatest teammates working for a common goal and achieving it.
  • Any improvements you’d like to see? At this point in the season, it is crystal clear that KIS is the strongest team in the KAIAC Red Division, and that the disparity between our best and worst form should not be this great. Our weakness always has been that we are slow to start getting our heads in the game and simply wake up to focus and win. If we can start every game with the same level of energy and concentration we end with, there would very few teams that could even come close to defeating us.
  • What’s the worst thing to do at practice? Perhaps the most frightening phrase for the boys on the soccer team would be “on the line”, as it is followed by Coach Evans and Jacobsen rushing us to the sidelines for what we call “suicides”. We start on the opposite side of the field and work our way across intervals at full sprint forward and backward, each interval further from the starting line than before. As much as our bodies frantically refuse to run another inch, it makes the team stronger both physically and mentally.
  • How have things changed since you first joined the team? It is almost difficult to describe in words just how far the team has come since the first day of tryouts back in February. Our rate of development in terms of skill as players, leadership as captains, positive attitude as teammates, and most of all sheer determination as men, has been nothing but positive incline.

 

Kevin Hong (‘15)

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Top (L-R): Jin-Hong Jung, Phillip An, Kevin Son Chung, Kevin Hong, Bottom (L-R): Steve Si Yoon Kim, Peter Han, Jeongmin Cho, Jeongsoo Park
  • What’s the best thing about this year’s team? Team bonding is stronger than any other soccer seasons that we had. Everyone is close to each other and no one is left out.
  • One word to describe the season Solid
  • Favorite memory on/off the field? Team dinner with the whole team after the friendly match with SFS has to be my favorite memory off the field. We went to dinosaur meat and ate tons. However, it is hard for me to think of a “favorite memory” on the field because every moment on the field was valuable for me.
  • Any improvements you’d like to see? I just want this flow to be continued.
  • What’s the worst thing to do at practice? Suicide. Suicide. Suicide.
  • How have things changed since you first joined the team? As I mentioned earlier, team bonding is the strongest out of every season. We used to have the awkward gap between the upperclass and the underclass, but none of that is present in this season.

 

Want to see how the season started? Take a look at the interview article from pre-season!

 

– Jaye Ahn (’16)

Blood, Sweat, and Confidence: Thoughts and Tips from the Varsity Soccer Team

It’s time to bring your A-Game.

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2013-14 Varsity Boys Soccer Team
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2013-14 Varsity Girls Soccer Team

“For every distance you fail to cover, always know that your teammates have to run just as more.”

– Steve Kim (’15)

Soccer season? Soccer season! This year’s soccer season is just around the corner, with try outs taking place during the week of February 9th. But just the mention of try outs can often illicit a range of emotions from sheer enthusiasm to slight dread in the minds of our varsity athletes. Often associated with notoriously rigorous try out sessions full of 5k runs and repetitive workouts, soccer season can seem like a pain rather than the fun it really is. But just how do these players survive try outs every season in the cold? What thoughts motivate them to survive? What wisdom do they have to offer the next generation of varsity soccer players? Blueprint sought out five outstanding varsity boys and girls soccer players to ask them about their thoughts on the upcoming season.

  1. Tips for new players?
  2. From 1-10 how excited are you for season
  3. If you could give your team an upgrade what would it be? (i.e. uniform, team name, etc)
  4. Favorite post practice snack?
  5. What motivates you during try outs?

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Phillip An (’15) 

  1. Tips: Don’t be afraid of upperclassmen- we were all in your shoes before. The faster we bond as a team, the better our quality of play will be.
  2. How excited? 11!!!
  3. Upgrade: Confidence Boost! They’re like steroids that are legal for your mind.
  4. Post practice snack: Favorite post practice snack would be dark chocolate, because chocolate.
  5. Motivation: The wails of pain that resonate throughout the locker room after each try-out days and pretty managers (if we get to have one).

Charlie Park (’16)Evernote-Camera-Roll-20150130-182729

  1. Tips: Just run a lot, try your best, don’t give up.
  2. How excited? 9.5
  3. Upgrade: UNIFORM! because ours right now is too old and kinda uncomfortable.
  4. Post practice snack: Banana? because it contains potassium, which builds bones! And it tastes good.
  5. Motivation: The fact that I get to play for a team motivates me, and having fun with friends? And getting to play for tournaments!

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Kyle Shin (’16)

  1. Tips: I would recommend for the new players to just work hard and show their full passion about soccer.
  2. How excited? 9.5 (not fit yet…)
  3. Upgrade: Team chant…gotta be better than last year’s…
    • (The old team chant was like, “Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo (louder) Who are we! Phoenix! Who are we! Phoenix! Are you ready, Yes! Are you ready, Yes! 3-2-1 Phoenix!” …something like that)
  4. Post practice snack: Cup Ramen!
  5. Motivation: Thinking about being the champions of the league!

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Steve Kim (’15)

  1. Tips: Similar to any other varsity sport, new players should be ready to dedicate a fair amount of time and effort to the team, giving it their very best every practice and game. Specifically for soccer, new players should quickly learn the importance of teamwork and responsibility. For every distance you fail to cover, always know that your teammates have to run just as more.
  2. How excited? 10! Those who are interested in playing soccer have been playing both in and outside of school every week leading up to the season, so everyone is excited.
  3. Upgrade: The soccer team should be receiving new, personalized uniforms every year for basic reasons. The idea of reusing the same uniforms for over four years is quite absurd and having personal jerseys with players’ own name imprinted would act as a big motivator for them to perform better.
  4. Post practice snack: Chocolate milk, banana
  5. Motivation: The fear of getting cut is probably the most fundamental motivation for all players looking to try out. For no one is guaranteed a spot on the team at that point. But more than that, the thought of playing a home game in front of the entire school with friends and family watching is another big motivation.

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Harry Song (’16)

  1. Tips: From my Varsity team experience, I would like to give some beneficial advices to new players. Although new players might be afraid to upperclassmen, he or she shouldn’t be afraid of upperclassmen and play any sports with confident mind. Also you might think that you’re always right when you play sports or something, but listen to your coaches and sunbaes if they ask you to fix some attitude or skills based.
  2. How excited? 8
  3. Upgrade: If I could give my team an upgrade, I would like to get personal sports clothing such as Nike or Adidas.
  4. Post practice snack: 삼각김밥 (triangle kimbab)
  5. Motivation: Varsity jacket and badge

Sara Drake (’15)

  1. Tips: Tips for new players are to always work your hardest and communicate all the time! The louder you are the more effective we are as a team.
  2. How excited? 11
  3. Upgrade: I would upgrade our uniforms so they are more comfortable. Right now they’re super stiff.
  4. Post practice snack: Chocolate milk and a banana.
  5. Motivation: You have to be motivated in try outs, it’s try outs. No one automatically makes a team, you have to work for it, and show the coaches what you are capable of even if they have already seen it. I always want to show that I will work my hardest and play my heart out.

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Faith Choi (’16)

  1. Tips: Key thing during try outs is to get noticed. Work hard, participate a lot, and that’s gonna get the coaches to notice you and remember your name. Especially when there are thirty to forty different girls on the same field all doing the same drill, you’re gonna wanna try to stand out. Also, try your best and work your hardest, because those are the things that will definitely pay off in the end.
  2. How excited?100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 x10000000000000000000000000000000000000 (no number can express my excitement)
  3. Upgrade: Definitely our uniforms- they’re way too stiff and a bit hot for the season we play in. And, the warm ups we used to have were the bomb. It’d also be nice if we could have some sort of stereo system to play music from during warm ups and whatnot like we can do up in the gyms!
  4. Post practice snack: Banana for that protein, Famous Amos for that sugar.
  5. Motivation: It’s the fact that I am not alone going through the thigh, butt, core burning exercises. I’m not the only one getting shinsplints. As Troy Bolton once said, we’re all in this together. Me working as hard as the rest and improving means that the team as a whole is – to a certain level – improving. Bettering my team and working hard for them, for me, and for my coaches is what honestly motivates me.

Shea Drake (’15)10984947_1049340635081026_958567028_n

  1. Tips: Come to play. No attitude, no lack of confidence, no self-doubt. Show spirit and try hard. If you don’t make the team, it’s okay because you know you tried your best. 
  2. How excited? 400
  3. Upgrade: Uniform, warm up, and bags.
  4. Post practice snack: Oreos with peanut butter and chocolate milk. If I feel healthy, then almonds.
  5. Motivation: Preparing for an awesome season with an awesome team and awesome coaches.

Sohee Yu (’16)10896998_915020905186864_1899573482296783697_n

  1. Tips: Don’t be shy and just play from your heart! Be confident in what you do, call for the ball, push yourself, and walk off the field every time knowing that you gave your best.
  2. How excited? 
  3. Upgrade: NOTHING CUZ THIS TEAM IS PERF but getting better apparel would be nice.
  4. Post practice snack: Does gogi count as a snack…?
  5. Motivation: Knowing that once I’m past it and make it on the team, I can spend time with the girls I love by playing a great sport and eating twice my usual amount.

Yena Kim (’15)

  1. Tips: What the coaches are ultimately looking for is someone coachable. They need to see that you’re willing to work your bum off even if you’re not the best player out there. They need to know that you will listen to their advice and try to learn it, because at the end of the day, the best player on the field isn’t the one with the best physical ability, but with the strongest mental ability. “I may not be the strongest, and I may not be the fastest, but you bet your ass I’ll be working the hardest.”
  2. How excited? MY EXCITEMENT BREAKS THE SCALE
  3. Upgrade: If I could give my team an upgrade it would be three things: a new uniform, or our old ones back – they were perfectly fine and soft and one of the few good uniforms out there. I appreciate that Mr. Larue took the time, effort, and consideration to change them, but the ones we got last year are scratchy and un-athletic uniforms. The second would be a set breakfast to eat everyday that we can get at school (or coach’s room) because as an athlete I know how big a difference eating breakfast makes. Number three, I would have optional Saturday open field.
  4. Post practice snack: Either an acai bowl or a smoothie. For smoothies I’ll either have a mango-banana-orange smoothie or a blueberry-strawberry-yoghurt smoothie. Both with chia seeds.
  5. Motivation: My sole motivation is the sport. Just playing soccer and the liberation it gives me motivates me. And having the season ahead of me and being excited to see my improvements as well as the improvements of other players motivate me. Also, seeing the team come together on the field and off really inspires me to just keep playing.

Header: Korea International School Yearbook