“The college stage is definitely a different level.”
Kwak Ro-young (20), an attacker at Sejong Kookmin University, was a highly sought-after player at Hyundai Cheongwoon Middle and Gwangyang Girls’ High School. She also represented her country at the age-group level. She was seen as the next big thing in women’s soccer with her daring runs and decisive attacks.
However, the college level is not easy for her. And she’s finding that out the hard way. “Compared to middle and high school, it’s a different level. There are so many good players on the college stage. I feel a lot of inadequacy.” “Last year, I didn’t start many games, so I felt less pressure. This year, I’m starting more games, so I feel more responsible,” she emphasized.
Kwak has fond memories of the queen years. She was the top scorer in the Queen’s Cup twice, in 2018 when she played for Hyundai Cheongwoon and in 2019 when she was a student at Gwangyang Girls’ High School. Kwak is participating in the 31st Queen Ki National Women’s Soccer Tournament, which is being held at Hwanggang County Sports Park in Hapcheon, a 2023 Wellness Healing Specialty City. Although she hasn’t been able to find the back of the net, she has started all two group games.
KU head coach Ko Hyun-ho and the coaching staff were constantly talking about her movements. “I think they want me to penetrate the space a lot and play aggressively when (I) get the ball,” Kwak said. “I used to be a very aggressive player, but I had a long break due to an injury in high school. So I still lack a lot of confidence, so I play evasive. I’m trying to work on that.” 메이저놀이터
In March, Kwak was selected to the women’s college team and played in the inaugural DENSO Cup Japan-Korea College Women’s Regular Match at Urayasu Stadium in Chiba, Japan. She started and scored a goal with a fantastic chip shot. “At first, I wondered if we could win,” Kwak said, “but when I tried it out, I didn’t feel too limited. We learned a lot about our shortcomings, and it was an opportunity to improve.”
KU is coming off a strong win at the tournament. KU went down 0-2 in overtime to Widok University at the Spring League in April. In the first round of the group stage, KU defeated Widok 1-0, so the team was eager to win. Kwak Ro-young said, “We didn’t win the first tournament this year. Our goal is to win the title. And I want my teammates to finish the tournament without getting injured,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.