While many lucky couples went on romantic dates on Valentine’s Day, some 60 hopeful high school boys and girls stepped out on the field in sub-zero temperatures to try out for the varsity soccer teams. Anticipation and anxiety were a few of the emotions present amongst the athletes as they trudged along the frozen field. Eventually on Friday, after 4 days of gruelling trials, both coaches dwindled down the players to make two teams of 22. The new teams lack the experience that had been present in previous years. Only 5 or so seniors were present on the boy’s side with a mere one of them, Danny Lee, having played all three years. However, the teams are both aiming to make the season successful. To get a better perspective of what’s going through the minds of some of the players, Blueprint got some exclusive interviews.
Blueprint: With such a young team, how do you think the season will unfold?
Hannah Mac ‘18: I think there are many advantages to having a young team. We have a ton of hard workers and players who are willing to push themselves to become better. This season may be scrappy, but I think we will come through and and have a winning season.
Blueprint: As a veteran player, what is one piece of advice you would want to give to the newcomers of the team?
Juliet Miinalainen ’17: I guess one piece of advice I would give to new players, especially if they’re underclassmen, is to not be afraid. When we’re on the field it doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a senior, because we’re all after the same thing – which is to win by being a great team with good communication between players. So talk, be loud, and always go to the ball. Be aggressive, since it’s better to make a few mistakes along the way than to not try at all.
Blueprint: What is one thing you are looking forward to most with the season and something that concerns you?
Coach Jacobsen: Our team is very young this year, which means we have a ton of room for growth. As a coach, I’m really looking forward to watching our team learn and improve every practice and game. With only have six returning varsity players, our young team is also the thing that most concerns me. The success of our season is completely up in the air, which is both exciting and nerve wracking. The one thing I know for sure is that we have a great group of guys and it’s going to be interesting season!
Blueprint: How do you see the team this year?
John Gee ’18: I think that although we have a young team, there certainly is enough potential for the team to prosper. Our core veteran members such as Danny Lee ’17, Ryan Choi ’18, Kyoon Hwang ’18, and Duke Moon ’19 are taking initiative and leading the team well.
Blueprint: As the captain, what do you believe is the most important thing the team keeps in mind as they approach the season?
Danny Lee ‘17: I believe that, especially since many of the members in the team are new, it is important that we remember to play together as a team. We have fantastic individual players, but that all means nothing in a team sport like soccer, so I think that our understanding of each other and cooperation are what will make us truly successful this year.
Both teams kicked off their season on a positive note as they won their recent games. The boys defeated APIS 1-0 with a stellar goal from Kyoon Hwang ’18 while the girls also won with a score of 6-1. Additionally Phoenix faced a Division One Team – YISS- and came out with amazing results: 6-2 for boys and 6-0 for girls. Come out and support these young teams who have proven that they can be successful throughout their season. Next home game is on Friday March 3rd with girls playing first. See you there!
Written by John Gee
Photo by JD Choi