Kim Boulos of Croton, N.Y. scored Haiti’s first goal in its 3-0 win over Cuba. (Photo courtesy of Fordham University)
This story was posted on BigAppleSoccer.com Jan. 23, 2012
By Michael Lewis
VANCOUVER — The Haitian women’s nation team secret is out, and you can blame Kim Boulos for it.
It came after the Croton, N.Y. native scored only Haiti’s first goal of its 3-0 victory over Cuba Monday night, but the Caribbean side’s first tally of the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament.
Teammate Manouchcheka Pierre Louis came over. They did a dance and bumped hips in celebration.
“It’s our secret handshake,” Boulos said. “We planned the entire tournament once we scored we’d do that handshake. We were waiting and finally got to do it twice.”
Not so secret anymore.
“Not so secret,” repeated a smiling Boulos. “That’s all right. We can share with the world.”
The former Fordham University standout slotted the ball past goalkeeper during a scramble in the penalty area in the 72nd minute.
“It’s not the worst feeling in the world,” she said with a laugh. “Definitely a good feeling. I was just in the right place at the right time. It just feels good to put us on the board. I think it gave us some momentum going forward in the match.”
Indeed, it did as the Haitians (1-2) added goals by Pierre-Louis (76th minute) and Nadia Valentin (82nd minute) to walk out of BC Place with a win in their third and final group match.
“I can’t put it into words. I’m so happy,” Boulos said. “Just to see the girls to smile like that is amazing for me.”
Haiti isn’t exactly synonymous with women’s soccer greatness, although it has made great strikes, even in the wake of the devastating earthquake two years ago this month.
Yet, the Haitians find themselves sixth in Concacaf and 62nd in the FIFA rankings.
To Boulos, the experience here was priceless.
“Every time we come to a tournament like this, it just shows us, A, what we need to work, but, B, we can play with these teams,” she said. “If we continue getting better, maybe the next time we qualify. It just shows us we can do anything we believe.”
That includes the tactical side as well.
“Defensively, maybe our tactics and offensively our movement off the ball, which will definitely come,” she said. “We need to work on it now. We’ll definitely get better at that.”
Boulos should be well known to many New York soccer fans. She is the granddaughter of National Soccer Hall of Famer and Haitian-born John “Frenchy” Boulos. He played for several New York City teams, including Segura in the Metropolitan League, Brooklyn Hispano in the American Soccer League, New York Hakoah and Lithuanian Sport in the German American Soccer League (now the Cosmopolitan Soccer League).
But the 24-year-old Boulos certainly has not rested on family laurels as she has forged a reputation of her own that goes beyond the United States.
While growing up in Westchester County, she was the co-captain of the Eastchester Patriots club team that was Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association runners-up in 2004 and 2005. She was a member of the Big Apple All-Stars and ENYYSA ODP. She also led Croton Harmon High School in scoring for four consecutive seasons.
She played at the University of South Carolina before transferring to Fordham, where the 5-5 sparkplug continued being a scoring threat.
With Haiti having completed its tournament obligations, Boulos will fly to San Francisco and stay there for two weeks before traveling to Sweden to prepare for her spring season with Bollstanas.
Perhaps Boulos will bring another secret handshake to Bollstanas to celebrate goals. She certainly got a little practice here on Monday night.