SK Shoogles wins ‘preview of the championship’… and ‘well on track’ to win regular season title

The Gwangmyeong SK Sugar Gliders are on a steep upward curve in the women’s division of the Shinhan SOL Pay 2023-2024 Handball H League, going unbeaten in 10 matches and inching closer to winning the regular season title.

The SK Shoogles, led by head coach Kim Kyung-jin, defeated second-place Gyeongnam Development Corporation 25-21 in the ‘preview championship game’ at Gijang Gymnasium in Busan on Monday afternoon, with the duo of Kang Kyung-min (7 goals) and Kang Eun-hye (6 goals) leading the way. The team maintained its dominance with a 2-1 record against the opponent this season.

Continuing their unbeaten streak of 10 matches (8 wins and 2 draws), including three straight wins, SK Shoogles have 15 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss with 32 points, widening the gap between them and Gyeongnam Development Corporation (28 points) to four points and needing only one win in their remaining three matches to clinch the regular season title.

Gyeongnam Development Corporation dominated the early stages of the match. They took a 3-0 lead with goals from Lee Yeon-kyung and Heo Yoo-jin. SK Shoogles fought back through Kang Kyung-min, and Yoo So-jung, Kim Ha-kyung, and Kang Eun-hye added goals to make it a 6-4 game.

However, the Gyeongnam Development Corporation responded with back-to-back goals by Choi Ji-hye after Kim Sora’s breakthrough shot from the right-center, making the score 7-6, and after exchanging ties and lead changes, the team went into halftime with an 11-10 lead thanks to goals by Heo Yoo-jin and Bae Min-hee and a series of saves by goalkeeper Osara.

In the second half, SK Shoogles scored goals from Kang Kyung-min and Yoo So-jung to make it 12-11, but Kim Sora opened the scoring in the second half and the seesaw game continued. The game started to tilt in the last 20 minutes. At 17-17, SK Shoogles took the lead at 20-17 with the trio of Kang Kyung-min, Yoo So-jung, and Kang Eun-hye, who are all the same age as the Rat, scoring evenly.

Goals from Kang Eun-hye, Shim Hae-in, Kang Kyung-min, and Choi Soo-min were added to the scoreline, as Lee Yeon-kyung’s two goals and Choi Ji-hye’s goal helped 토토 the Shogles to a four-point lead over the chasing Gyeongnam Development Corporation. SK Shugles goalkeeper Lee Min-ji was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) with 12 saves and a 36.4% save percentage.

Gyeongnam Development Corporation fought hard, with Lee Yeon-kyung and Kim Sora scoring six goals apiece, but could not get over the hump in the final period to overtake the lead.

SK Shugles head coach Kim Kyung-jin said, “It was the most important game for us to win the regular season title, so we prepared a lot with the players, but we were nervous in the beginning and didn’t play our best. In the second half, goalkeeper Lee Min-ji made a series of saves, and we started to unravel, which was the winning factor,” said Kim. “We will do our best to win all three remaining matches to comfortably reach the championship.”


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