The senior central defender and captain, a first team All-Tri-County League and All-Penn-Jersey League selection as a sophomore and senior (she spent her junior year in Israel), played a key role in the Cougars’ winning the Tri-County League championship this fall, beating Perkiomen School 1-0 in the final. Led by Stein, the Cougars’ defense allowed fewer than one goal per game this fall. Barrack Hebrew head coach Keith Bradburd said, “Yasi works extremely hard in managing the team as a captain on the field. She is vocal, yet supportive of her teammates, particularly the underclassmen.”
Q: Tell us a little about your start in soccer, and what sparked your inaugural interest in the sport. What position(s) did you originally play? What do you like best about the central defender position?
A: I have always had a love for sports since I was little, and naturally soccer has been the most accessible. Starting at Barrack in sixth grade I played on the coed middle school team, where I found my place in defense. I love the sense of control and protection that the defensive line has – seeing the whole field and the ability to communicate that to the rest of the team.
Q: Your team won the Tri-County League championship, beating Perkiomen School 1-0 in the final. What is your sharpest memory of this game – if it’s a play, can you describe how the play developed, and your memory of it?
A: The championship game was full of a lot of highs and lows, but what continues to stick out for me was the last few minutes of the game. The opposing team pulled all of their players up on our half, attacking the goal, and with a combination of adrenaline and passion our team put everything out there to finish what we deserved.
Q: As a captain, how do you see your leadership role on the team, both overall and in fostering communication among the other defenders? Can you share with us an example of where you exercised that leadership?
A: I think my leadership was most impactful vocally, making sure everyone felt a part of the team as a family, as well as inspiring athletic improvement. Our defense was young this year, so my voice was loud, but we had a lot of skill and talent which helped us communicate freely with many valuable perspectives. My proudest moment as a captain was in a specific game where we had been down at the half 0-1, but after a passionate speech demanding the best from everyone on the team, we scored five goals in the second, locking away the game.
Q: What do you think is the strongest aspect of your game? What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: Right now I am working on staying light on my feet and becoming less stagnant on the field. I am also working on my stamina and control of the ball in transition. I think the strongest part of my game currently is my ability to communicate up the field and feed the ball across and up the field.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: On game days I like to stay as calm as possible and keep myself preoccupied. I like to have eggs for breakfast and then something light but filling for lunch. Stretching is always important the morning of, but what trumps all (if it is an away game) is not falling asleep on the bus on the way to the game.
Q: Who is your favorite soccer player, and why?
A: As a kid I always looked up to Abby Wambach because of her obvious skill and leadership of the gold medal team. I also admire her poise and the way she carries herself on and off the field.
Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 24 for Barrack Hebrew. Why did you pick this number – does it have any special significance to you?
A: I have always tried to wear No. 24 (no matter how large the jersey might be) since it is my lucky number and also my birthday.
Q: Tell us a little about your junior year in Israel. What was your most memorable experience there? What do you think was the most important thing you learned during your year in Israel?
A: The trimester I spent in Israel my junior year was incredibly impactful and exciting. It was full of hikes and lectures all around the country that exposed me to many different cultures and ways of living. A very memorable experience for me was the three day Army training we did in the south. The most important thing I learned over those three months was a sense of pride and gratitude in developing my own identity.
Q: What do you think you might like to major in at college? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: Right now, I am really intrigued by industrial design. I am driven by positively impacting the world (hopefully the environment in some way), which could combine with my passion for creating through design.
Q: What extracurricular activities do you participate in at Barrack Hebrew other than soccer?
A: I am involved in a few clubs such as Girls Who Code, Yearbook, the satirical newspaper, and the art magazine publication. I also play basketball and lacrosse for Barrack Hebrew.
Fun facts – Yasi Stein
Favorite book: Cradle to Cradle. by Michael Braungart and William McDonough.
Favorite TV show: Will and Grace or Whose Line is it Anyway.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Come on Eileen or Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.
Favorite pre-game meal: Grilled chicken at least three hours before warmups.
Family members: parents Rabbi Jay and Melissa, older sisters Nina, Gavi and Mia, older brother Adi.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)
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