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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

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Halie Yung strikes her line into Smith College

With hopes of continuing field hockey beyond her high school career, senior Halie Yung has committed to Smith College. Used with permission from Halie Yung.

With hopes of continuing field hockey beyond her high school career, senior Halie Yung has committed to Smith College. 

Field hockey has been an integral part of Yung’s life since she was introduced to the sport in freshman year. Yung’s parents and sister were a major motivator behind her decision to join the team, encouraging her to be more involved in the school and prompting her to start field hockey. Her sister, class of 2022 alumnus Hana Yung, was also on the field hockey team at Lynbrook.

“Looking back now, I understand that my parents and siblings were always looking out for me,” Yung said. “They saw potential in me that I didn’t see, until now.”

Yung spent the first half of the season in her freshman year on the JV team. She was then moved up to varsity by her coach.

“It felt good to be on varsity during my freshman year, but in terms of my decision of wanting to play in college, I believe it would have been helpful to stay on a JV level, work on foundational skills and then work my way up,” Yung said.

However, she recounts her experience on the team as positive. Being moved up to varsity gave Yung confidence in her talent and performance. In addition, she immediately felt welcomed by the tight-knit community of athletes on the team. 

Despite all the errors I made during my first season, it was clear that Lynbrook’s field hockey team was the nicest, most supportive team on campus,” Yung said.

Sophomore year was Yung’s first year back in-person at Lynbrook and she had to navigate her classes, friendships and field hockey, all at once. She channeled all her emotions into field hockey, grounding herself. Her teammates provided support through sharing their personal experiences and she built meaningful relationships with them.

“My teammates were the family outside my family,” Yung said.

In her junior year, Yung became heavily involved with the team, gaining a newfound sense of pride for the  team. As an upperclassmen, Yung aspired to follow the lead of the upperclassmen who guided her through her field hockey journey.

“Junior year was the year that the team started to become my own; it was when I started to really fall in love with the sport,” Yung said.

Her passion and dedication has inspired many on the field, notably her teammates. 

“Haley is not only passionate about field hockey, but she’s also very team-focused,” field hockey coach Juney Lee said. “She wants to improve on her individual skills and her play, but she’s also always looking out for her teammates and is a good role model for the underclassmen.”

Outside of season practice, Yung also trains outside on her own. She works with Lee to work on fine details in her technique. As a middle college student, she works around times to practice on campus, training before and after school on the field.

Yung made the decision to play at a collegiate level at the start of her senior year — later than many other collegiate athletes. Typically, students who plan on playing a sport on a college team start their recruitment process during freshman or sophomore year. However, most students who join the field hockey team have no prior experience before high school and Yung was no exception, resulting in her decision being made later, in senior year. 

In her college recruiting search, Yung slowly fell in love with Smith College, after visiting the campus during her sister’s college trip. Although she was reluctant to attend an all women’s college, as she made her decision to play field hockey in college, Smith’s strong team stood out to her. Ultimately, Smith became her dream school. She contacted Smith’s coach first and participated in a field hockey camp, introducing herself to the coach.

“I have a tendency to always strive for more,” Yung said. “But at the same time, I doubt my abilities to perform or meet expectations. It quite literally became Smith or nothing.”

One of Yung’s major challenges is balancing her faith with the sport. As a devout Christian, Yung strives to not let the competitiveness of field hockey cause her to deviate her faith. 

“My faith is a big part of who I am and so is field hockey; being able to connect those together and find a balance between the two has been my biggest struggle,” Yung said.

In addition to finding support and balancing her faith, as both a full-time student and athlete, Yung had to learn how to effectively manage her time. She recalls her friends always being there for her and helping her through her journey as a student athlete. They often checked in on Yung, which helped her develop self discipline. 

“My friends are the people whom I trust and I care about,” Yung said. “I know that because they know who I am and they know what I want to do.”

In addition, Yung believes the key to success is discipline, rather than motivation; she has worked hard to build discipline through daily practices and unwavering persistence.

Despite her personal struggles, Yung recalls her most memorable moments as having fun and connecting with her team: senior night, pasta parties and timed sprints. 

“Everyone suffering together and laughing about it later is something I’ll never forget,” Yung said.

Yung is grateful for the caring and welcoming field hockey team at Lynbrook. She feels as though the people on the team helped her grow into a better person all around.

“With every hardship and reward, I’ve learned so many things through field hockey that will carry me through life: how to be a teammate, leader and friend and learning how to control my emotions, not letting frustration get the best of me,” Yung said. “I’ve learned to give all success in my performance to the Lord.”

As a determined field hockey player whose love for field hockey has inspired others, Yung hopes to continue making a positive impact as an athlete and student at Smith College. 

“Haley is very proactive and she’s always willing to push herself,” Lee said. “These are important skills that will help her through college and also through her career because she’s always willing to step outside of her comfort zone and to tackle some new challenges.”

Yung looks forward to many things: exploring and joining clubs, experiencing college life, and living with her roommate.

“Having a sense of independence and responsibility is anticipating,” Yung said. 

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Irene Hwang
Irene Hwang, Staffer
(she/her) Irene is a sophomore and a first-year staffer for the Epic! She loves the beach, playing the piano, writing, and mostly importantly, eating. She is looking forward to an amazing year in the Epic!

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