This story first appeared in the February 2018 edition of The Hilltop.
After scoring eight goals and three assists during the 2017 season, Annouscka Kordom, who is from Namibia, has been called up to compete on the Namibian Women’s Soccer National Team in the African Women’s Cup of Nations qualifier.
While she is the first female soccer player at Corban to compete at the national level, this is not Kordom’s first time playing for Namibia’s national teams.
“I’ve been called up a few times before,” she said. “But this time it feels different because I’ve grown both as a person and player while here at Corban. So I’m just really excited to go and share everything I learned here, as well as to learn from them and share it with everybody here.”
Kordom grew up playing soccer in her home country, but her passion did not develop right away.
“I started playing at the age of 6, but it was just for fun because I wanted to escape chores and all those types of things,” she said.
This changed in 2009 when she joined the Namibia Football Association Galz and Goals League.
“I was just working with amazing people whose passion for the game was so intense that I fell in love with it and started taking it serious,” Kordom said.
Coming to play in America had been one of Kordom’s dreams for a long time. She told her coaches she wanted to study abroad and play soccer.
“In 2016, I got a call that said ‘you have an opportunity to come to the United States,’” Kordom said. “Likius [Hafeni, women’s soccer coach], and the athletic department in partnership with our women’s department made that [dream] come true.”
Hafeni has been impressed by Kordom’s first two years playing for the team. But, beyond her level of play, he believes she brings something more to the team.
“She has a great personality,” he said. “She gets along with players. She’s a team player. Sometimes when you get good players, they want to be the star, the individual player, but she’s a team player. She helps the people around her. She makes others look good around her, and she works hard on the field.”
Macy Goodwin, a defender on the women’s team, is inspired by Kordom’s attitude and effort.
“Her work ethic makes me want to push harder,” Goodwin said. “We enjoy pushing each other and making one another better.”
Another one of her teammates, Nicolle Ohama, also a defender, appreciates Kordom’s skill and discipline as well.
“Annouscka plays a vital role on our team,” she said. “Whether she is playing in midfield or center forward, she is a big threat to the other teams. You never know what she is going to do next. She can be very hard to defend because she is so crafty with the ball.”
Confidence was something Kordom struggled with when she initially came to play for Corban.
“As a player, I’ve had internal struggles,” she said. “I struggle with confidence. I self doubt. I was always scared of challenges.”
Despite any setbacks Kordom may have had, Goodwin considers her invaluable to the success of the team.
“She doesn’t need to say much for people to follow her lead,” Goodwin said. “If we need to win a game, she will take that responsibility on her own shoulders and win the game for us if need be. She is a leader who exudes mental toughness.”
The support and encouragement she has received from her teammates has helped Kordom’s doubt diminish.
“My teammates are great players, but to know they rely on me has made me face all those internal challenges and slowly grow,” she said. “I believe I have a lot of confidence now.”
Hafeni believes that playing for the national team will improve her confidence, as well.
“I think going back and playing at this level will further boost her confidence and help her know the type of player she is, that she is a national player,” he said.
Kordom has also benefited from a new perspective.
“As a person, now knowing it’s not always about me playing soccer, it’s about glorifying God and representing God through sports,” she said.
Goodwin admires the way Kordom maintains humility and is loving toward others.
“She celebrates victories very quietly,” Goodwin said. “Annouscka always treats others with kindness and grace. She doesn’t see others’ insufficiencies, but she sees the potential they have
While she is looking forward to the opportunity to play, Kordom is excited to go home and see her family.
“I haven’t been home in a very long time,” she said. “So just seeing my family, that’s what I’m most excited about.”
“I was excited for her because she hasn’t been back home since she came, so it’ll be great to go home and play for the national team and go see her mom, and family and friends,” Hafeni said.
Kordom also has long-term goals for the future of women’s soccer in her country.
“Our country is not very big on women’s soccer,” she said. “It’s growing, but it’s very slow. I want to play a big part in helping this league. It’s been doing great; it’s expanded all over the country. There’s a lot of talent back home. People love the women’s games too, but we want people to love it even more. We want more support so that we can grow with men’s soccer.”
The Namibian national team will be competing in the African Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers against Zimbabwe for the first game. If the team continues winning, Kordom will most likely be called up again to play for the following games.
“I’m excited to go and work hard and hopefully help the team get some positive result,” she said.