May 11, 2022

With Kim Developing into an Offensive Force, Hun Girls’ Lacrosse Reaches MCT Quarterfinals

ON THE BALL: Hun School girls’ lacrosse player Olivia Kim, middle, secures the ball from a group of foes in recent action. Last Friday, sophomore star Kim scored six goals as fifth-seeded Hun defeated 13th-seeded WW/P-South 15-3 in the first round of the Mercer County Tournament. On Monday, Kim chipped in three goals and an assist but it wasn’t enough as Hun got edged by fourth-seeded Notre Dame 9-8 in the MCT quarterfinals. The Raiders, who moved to 6-8 with the loss, were slated to play at WW/P-North on May 10 in its season finale. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Olivia Kim brought some extra emotion to the field for the Hun School girls’ lacrosse team as it hosted WW/P-South in the first round of the Mercer County Tournament last Friday.

“If Kaia Diaz and I didn’t go to Hun, we would have played for South,” said Hun sophomore star Kim, referring to teammate Diaz.

“We were especially hyped for this game because we don’t get to play public schools that much. It was a perfect opportunity. I was very pumped, I was very energetic because I know all of these people and they know me. I was having a fun time.”

Despite a driving, gusty rain pelting the field for most of the game, Kim had a lot of fun, tallying six goals as the fifth-seeded Raiders pulled away to a 15-3 win over the 13th-seeded Pirates.

“The weather didn’t impact our spirit at all,” said Kim. “It was actually kind of fun playing in the rain, it was a change of pace. I enjoyed it.”

Coming off a tough 18-8 loss to Lawrenceville in the state Prep A tournament two days earlier, the Raiders enjoyed the lopsided win over South.

“It felt good,” said Kim. “I feel like we got all of the anger from Lawrenceville and we brought it into this game.”

Over the last two years, Kim has developed a very good connection with classmate Ava Olender, who assisted on three of Kim’s goals and ended up with four goals and four assists in the victory.

“Since we are in the same grade, we hang out and we are really good friends,” said Kim. “It is a big positive having someone who you are really close to, connecting on the field. It is not that we only pass to each other but whenever I look, she is open and whenever she looks, I am open. It is a great connection.”

With one season under her belt, Kim is enjoying a positive sophomore campaign on and off the field.

“I think being a freshman on varsity last year, I didn’t want to overstep my boundaries,” said Kim. “Now I have experience and I have gotten really, really close to everyone on my team. Confidence is a really big thing. I am not afraid to drive anymore and I am not afraid to take those risky passes or moves.”

Hun head coach Kathleen Jaeger liked the way her team played with confidence collectively in the win over WW/P-South.

“As our season is nearing its end, the girls are definitely making sure that they are taking every moment in stride and they continue to work for each other,” said Jaeger. “They came in today with a positive attitude and coming off of a good practice yesterday, they were just fired up and ready to go today. They were making up for their own mistakes and making up for each other’s mistakes. That is how they are going to continue to build together.”

The Raiders worked well together offensively as Priscilla Stelmach, Olivia Gall, and Maggie Maffia also found the back of the net in addition to Kim and Olender against the Pirates.

“I think it is nice that we have a lot of different goal scorers so there are a lot of options in different situations,” said Jaeger. “The confidence they have in each other really proves that they can do anything.”

Jaeger credits Kim with turning into a dangerous goal scorer this spring.

“I think that is what we have seen through the season, Olivia is continuing to come into her own time and time again,” said Jaeger. “She is a very smart player, it is very fun to watch her wheels turning and those gears really connecting.”

Kim’s connection with Olender powers the Hun attack.

“They just have very good chemistry, they can read each other without talking,” said Jaeger. “It is fun to watch that as well. Last season was their first together, this is their second. I am looking forward to seeing their junior and senior year. It is very nice to have those pieces.”

Jaeger enjoyed what she saw from her squad at the defensive end against WW/P-South.

“I think the mentality is just making sure that they have their heads up and see everything,” said Jaeger. “They are reacting and trying to predict the play as it comes.”

The Raiders have displayed an upbeat mentality this spring in dealing with a challenging schedule.

“We have faced good competition this year,” said Jaeger, whose team fell 9-8 to fourth-seeded Notre Dame on Monday in the MCT quarterfinals with Kim and Olender each scoring three goals to move to 6-8 and was slated to play at WW/P-North on May 10 in its season finale.

“It is that wavelength of being able to ride the highs and work even harder in the lows. We are seeing that continue, especially as we face the harder teams. I think it is that energy from within. It is OK, here is another step, we need continue to take that momentum forward.”

Kim, for her part, believes that the squad has gained momentum through the season.

“I feel like every single day we get better, even in practice,” said Kim. “We go in and we talk about what we could have done better during the previous game and in practice we fix it. We get it done and we master it by the next game.”