For her quick reflexes, SFS goalie wins MVPSenior Michelle Froese, goalkeeper for the Seoul Foreign School girls soccer team four years running, was voted the Korean American Interscholastic Activities Conference tournament’s Most Valuable Player this year for not giving up a single goal in three tournament games played.
“She’s an outstanding defender,” said her coach, Phil Knobel. “Her reflexes and her ability to read play are exceptional.”
During KAIAC league games this season, SFS’s opponents scored an average of only 1.09 goals per game on Froese, which her coach calls “not bad.” SFS finished first in both the league and in the tournament, “and our success is in large part due to her outstanding play,” Knobel said.
For Froese, a talented volleyball player who says she “likes to use her hands,” the net seems a natural habitat on the soccer field.
Like any good athlete, she relies on instinct. “It’s just reflexes, I really don’t think,” she said of her reaction to having shots lobbed at her.
Her quick reflexes have served her team well. Both Froese and her coach pointed to their last league game against Seoul American High School as one of her shining moments. Froese called it “the best game I ever played. I touched the ball every five minutes, I caught, I saved, I dove, I punted, I was really in control.” Over 20 shots were made on her, and she stopped almost all of them.
In addition to the KAIAC league victory, the SFS girls team took third place in the Asia Pacific Activities Conference tournament, where large international schools from Japan, Korea, China and the Philippines compete. SFS is the only school in KAIAC that competes in that tourney.
Again, the success came down to Froese. In the game for third and fourth place against Beijing, with no goals scored after regulation play had ended, the game turned over to penalty kicks. By saving three of four, Froese cinched a third-place finish for her team.
“The caliber of APAC is difficult,” said Knobel, adding that for such a young team as SFS to come in third was “really significant.”
Froese is looking forward to returning to her native Manitoba to enter Canadian Mennonite University, where she chose the travel and playing opportunities of volleyball over soccer. But if she can manage it, she said, she will try to play soccer, too. “They need a goalie,” she said.
by Kirsten Jerch