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(Olympics) S. Korean goalie laments big loss in joint Korean hockey team debut

All Headlines 01:15 February 11, 2018

By Joo Kyung-don

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean goalie Shin So-jung lamented a big loss in the joint Korean women's hockey team's Olympic debut, saying she should have done better.

The joint hockey team of South Korea and North Korea made its historic Olympic debut against Switzerland at the 23rd Winter Games here on Saturday, picking up a painful 8-0 loss.

Shin, the starting goalkeeper, said she should have done better to stop the Swiss players having a goal parade at the historic game.

"It was our first game, and we really wanted to do well," she said after making 44 saves at Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. "I should have done better to stop those shots."

The Swiss went ahead 3-0 in the first period, putting even more pressure on the Korean players the rest of the game.

"They really knew how to attack the goalie," she said. "It was really difficult for me to spot the puck, but I tried my best to find it. I think we did it well in the latter part of the game."

Shin So-jung, a goalie for the joint Korean women's ice hockey team, reacts after she conceded a goal during a game against Switzerland at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 10, 2018. (Yonhap)

The opening game for the joint Korean team at the 6,000-seat arena, which was attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and Kim Yong-nam, North Korea's ceremonial leader. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach was also present.

Shin said she felt no big pressure playing in front of the VIPs, but she is sad that the team was blanked by the Swiss.

"I knew we were going to be watched by many people, not only the president, so we really wanted to play a good game," she said. "We did our best, but I'm sad that we didn't pick up the result that we wanted."

Also at the arena were North Korean cheerleaders, who performed choreographed dances and chanted slogans like "we're one," and "cheer up," throughout the game. South Korean fans joined the support with North Koreans, clapping and making noise.

"I think the atmosphere was good," she said. "Since the crowd noise was so loud, we even had some problems communicating with our teammates. So I had to shout to my teammates."

Shin said she had mixed feelings when making her Olympic debut in front of the home crowd.

"I really had an interesting feeling," she said. "It was emotional and strange. I had some nerves, but when I fell on the ice during our entrance, it was gone."

Shin said Moon visited the bench and told the players to keep their heads up after the game.

"He really said nice words to us," she said. "He said we did a good job because we wrote the history."


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