Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

Eclipses in the Bible
By Juliet Powell, Staff Writer • May 28, 2024
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By Katie Nussbaum, Staff Writer • May 28, 2024
German Exchange 2024
By Caroline Palmer, Staff Writer • May 28, 2024
Japan's Game Plan
By Reese Sullivan, Staff Writer • May 28, 2024
Faith, Food, and Athletics
By Kate Owens, Staff Writer • May 28, 2024

Japan’s Game Plan

The Japanese Women’s National Soccer Team practices on Stadler Field
Photographer: Contributed
The rivalry between the national women’s soccer teams of the United State and Japan has increased in recent years. Where U.S. players are known for their power and speed, the Japanese squad is famous for their technical play.

In search for a soccer field, the Women’s Japanese National Team (JWNT) found sanctuary on Stadler Field.

Our school often opens the campus to others beyond the Marist community. To host the JWNT, however, is a new honor. Even though the practices were considered “private,” students still found ways to marvel at these players as they practiced a sport that ties a string between two separate ends of the world.

The JWNT was created in 1981, when the Japanese Football Association formed the first national team for the 1981 AFC Women’s Championship. The influence of soccer in Japan has grown exponentially over the past couple of decades, and has become a major outlet for young Japanese girls.

The JWNT incorporates nadeshiko into their name. This Japanese term means, “the epitome of pure, feminine beauty.” The players of the JWNT hold nadeshiko close to their hearts as they continually look to enliven the sport in their home country.

The JWNT traveled to participate in the She Believes Cup. Founded in 2016, this competition is an invitational women’s soccer tournament held in the United States.  The 2024 competition consisted of four teams: Brazil, Canada, Japan, and the United States.

In retrospect, the JWNT should have spent more time at Stadler, because they lost their semi-final game to the United States 2-1, who went on to win the tournament for their sixth year in a row.

The games were held at Mercedes Benz Stadium, where throngs of Atlanta soccer fans broke the U.S. Women’s National Team attendance record. Never before had 50,644 fans come out to watch our nation’s national women’s soccer team.

In an effort to promote women’s soccer in Japan, the Women’s Empowerment League was formed in 2021, becoming Japan’s first fully professional women’s league.

Along with the JWNT, our school also hosted the Brazilian National Women’s Soccer Team, another historic moment for our campus.

Both teams played on April 6, 2024 at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

About the Contributor
Reese Sullivan
Reese Sullivan, Staff Writer
Reese joined the newspaper staff during her junior year because of her love for contributing to culture and literature. At Marist, Reese plays on the varsity soccer team, helps out as a Grade Level Coordinator, and is on the board for Habitat for Humanity. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, and baking. In the future, Reese hopes to become a sports marketer.