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story | Michelle Lee, Contributing Reporter
photo | Yale-NUS Athletics & Recreation
The 13-member women’s football team was formed in three days, headed by freshman Olesia Sheremeta ’22 and veteran junior goalkeeper Celeste Beh ’20. After a mere three training sessions, the newly-formed team dominated their round-robin with four wins at the Inter-Faculty Games (IFGs) on Aug. 25.
In the preliminaries, our IFG girls beat Law (2-0), Medicine (1-0), Computer Science (2-0), and USP (1-0) — other faculties from the National University of Singapore (NUS) — in the Group A round.
With the minimal training before the IFGs, having a coach on ground throughout their day would have been ideal. However, this was not the case for the Yale-NUS College women’s team as both captains were being fielded.
While there were female football teams from Yale-NUS in previous years, none of them were official athletics clubs. Their rise to semi-finals despite being a new team is what makes their win this year particularly commendable.
Sheremeta credited the group’s team spirit for their good performance in the games. “I was extremely proud of everyone in the team after the first four wins because we have not trained together much but we produced results beyond our expectations,” she said.
“Football is a team sport where you will form a tight knit community. You are part of a team, a family that will have your back everywhere — in class, in the dining hall and beyond,” added Sheremeta, who has fond memories of being on a team for six years before coming to Yale-NUS.
Sheremeta also credited Saga’s Dean Fellow Tinesh Indraraja ’17 for helping to guide the team in each training and match. “Big thanks to Tinesh for being a coach, supporter, and leader. We would not be where we are now without his help.”
Indraraja, who had only heard about the team a week before the IFGs, said he was heartened to see a freshman taking the lead in forming a team, especially one that would last beyond the IFGs.
Regardless of the wins and losses, it is the smallest acts that carry the most weight in sports. The camaraderie within the team boosted their chances of a medal, especially with the relatively small support from the Yale-NUS community — only six students and staff attended their last game.
The women’s team will be playing in the semi-finals for the third position against the Faculty of Science at the NUS University Sports Center Field 1, starting at 7 pm on Sept. 11.