Oh, what a difference a change of scenery made for former Kaua‘i High School soccer standout Kristen Shim.
Just a year ago, the junior was the KIF’s leading goal scorer, but without a state title shot.
However, after moving to Nevada after the soccer season, Shim led her new team, Palo Verde, to a Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) Class 4A Southern Nevada girls soccer championship.
“It was different. There are more teams out here. The girls here are slower but bigger compared to Kaua‘i girls,” Shim said in a phone interview.
After scoring three game-winning goals in the state tournament and helping her team to an impressive 15-1-3 mark, Shim received scholarship offers from the likes of Northern Arizona, Lousiana Tech, UNLV, Montana, Rhode Island, and Kansas Wesleyan, just to name a few.
Shim led a young Panthers squad, which lost nine starters from a year ago.
Along the way, Palo Verde was also able to finally climb over the hump with a title win, after losing in the last two finals.
The junior forward/midfielder is now competing in Olympic Development Program and club soccer as well.
“It was tiring. There were two or three games in a week,” Shim said of the rough schedule she participated in compared to the meek eight game KIF contests.
“Hawai‘i has some really good players. They are way better than mainland athletes. Hawai‘i just doesn’t have the exposure that the mainland has,” Shim said.
Shim plans on becoming an accountant upon graduation of college, where she mentioned that UNLV and Northern Arizona remain on her short list.
She is the daughter of Cathy and Robert Shim, who reside in Summerlin, Nevada.
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or firstname.lastname@example.org.