Athlete of the Week: Deborah Kim ’24

Courtesy of Swarthmore Athletics

Deborah Kim ’24, a senior from North Wales, PA, was an indispensable part of Swarthmore field hockey’s Saturday victory over the Stevens Institute of Technology. The forward scored the game’s only goal in just the second minute. Her first goal of the season gave the Garnet early momentum, allowing them to maintain the lead and earn their third consecutive win. Swarthmore field hockey is currently 4-2 overall after a Wednesday night win against Cabrini University (4-1), and its next game is Saturday at home against McDaniel College. 

1. Can you tell us about the win over the Stevens Institute of Technology this Saturday? What does this victory mean for the team?

This win was meaningful to the upperclassmen because the last time we played Stevens at their field, we lost in double OT (2-3). We were determined on Saturday to come out victorious, and you could see that in just the first few minutes of the game when we came out strong attacking. For the whole team, this win was meaningful because it’s one step closer to climbing the ranks and making a name for this 2023 field hockey team. 

2. How did it feel to score in just the second minute of the game? How did it feel to shut out the Ducks?

I think scoring so early gave us a sense of security and had us energized for the rest of the first quarter. Stevens did a really good job responding to [our energy] in the next quarter, but at the end of the day, it came down to which team was able to execute and finish. “EXECUTE!” was one of our coach’s “Keys to Victory” for us, and we did that as a team. The defense really held their ground, and Cassandra Conklin ’26, our goalie, kept us leading the game. It was satisfying to know we did our job at the end of the day even though Stevens put up a strong fight and really challenged us. 

3. What are some of the team’s goals for the season?

Some of our goals this season are to execute an attacking mindset, be a competitor as a team, and make a statement. These goals were put forward so that we would push our level of play and compete at our fullest potential. Most importantly, our number one goal is to always put the team first, both on and off the field. “Better as One” is our team slogan.

4. What are some of your personal goals for the season?

Since the end of last year’s season, I had a goal of shooting more this season. Scoring goals and taking shots myself has never been a forte of mine, but this season, I hope to be able to contribute more with goal scoring for the team, whether it be setting my teammates up for success or shooting myself. 

5. Do you have any pre- or post-game rituals?

As a team, we get hyped together singing songs and dancing, but at some point, right before the game, I try to find time by myself to thank God for the opportunity to play and pray for strength and wisdom during the game.

6. What made you choose Swarthmore?

I thought the campus was gorgeous, and I really liked the coach [Hannah Harris] and the old turf field … but that didn’t last for long. The story of how I came to Swarthmore was really random and last minute, but essentially, I never had intentions of playing a sport in college, nor did I ever think I would go to a small liberal arts college. I ended up loving it here though. It’s bittersweet to be a senior now, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to play this sport in college. Being on this team at Swarthmore’s campus, I’ve had some of the best memories with these girls who are like family, and I’ve learned some of the most important life lessons. At the same time, I get to be challenged academically here and do life with the amazing people I’ve met here. 

7. What are you studying at Swat?

I am studying neuroscience! 

8. Favorite Dining Center bar?

Spice! Live love Sharples. Shout out to the best dining staff there is.

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