As the country’s most prestigious high school soccer tournament, the Presidential Gold Medal, enters the tournament, the importance of the “spider hand” is increasing. If the game is not decided in the first 80 minutes, teams must prepare for a penalty shootout, which is like Russian roulette, with the odds tipped in favor of one save.
Seoul Sangmungo 스포츠토토 smiles as sophomore goalkeeper Lim Chae-ryang (18) guards the goal. Lim has been a key contributor to the team’s run to the quarterfinals by maintaining a 0-0 shutout, allowing just four goals in five games.
Lim’s best performance came in the quarterfinal match against Jecheon First Go at Jecheon Football Center 1 on the 28th. Lim kept Jecheon First Go’s offense scoreless with the support of the home fans.
The highlight was the penalty shootout, which was played without extra time. With Sangmungo down 0-1, Lim blocked the shots of Jecheon First Go’s No. 2 and No. 3 kickers in succession. His saves turned the tide of the game, as he threw his body out of the way as if he had predicted the direction the opposing players would kick the ball. Sangmungo’s kickers capitalized on their remaining chances and won 4-3.
“If I continue to perform like I did today, I will be a reliable goalkeeper for any team,” Lim told The Korea Times, adding that her parents gave her a thumbs-up.
Lim’s performance at the tournament is even more interesting as she is known for her accurate kicks rather than her saves. Her role model is national team goalkeeper Kim Seung-kyu (Al Sabab), who is a great build-up player.
“It’s actually the first time I’ve won a penalty shootout in middle school and high school combined,” says Lim. “Last year, I lost in the quarterfinals of the KUMBAE U17 Youth Cup despite saving two penalties. This year’s result was the opposite, so we are confident.”
Sangmungo coach Ju Ji-hwan attributes Lim’s growth to a different attitude. It’s not about the body, but the mind. “She has a bubbly personality, so I was nervous about her as a goalkeeper, but she calmed down with the help of the goalkeeping coach and her own efforts. This year, she is really reliable.”
Lim Chae-ryang wants to lift the gold medal with her friends who have eaten together for three years. She also predicted a good show against Yeongdeungpo Gonggo, who will meet in the semifinals at Jecheon Sports Complex on the 30th. Yeongdeungpo Gonggo, the winners of this year’s Baekwoongi, also boasts a fiery goal-hunting prowess in this tournament, scoring 14 goals in five games. Their progress to the final will depend on how well Lim stops them.
“I want to defend well in the semifinals like I did today (Jecheon First Classics) and give my friends a good show,” Lim said, “I finished as runner-up in the gold medal game, but I want to win the gold medal.”