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Women's Soccer Blog From Europe

Day 1: We arrived in London pretty early and headed to the hotel to meet our tour guide and check in. We then went to Westfield mall for lunch and some shopping- it was huge! After that, we headed to a professional match for the Queen Park Rangers. It was tough with the jet lag but a fun game. We ate dinner at a traditional English pub called Albert's- great food, and Jim let us have dessert and soda! We all then went directly to bed after our very long but exciting first day.

Day 2: We left early in the morning for our game where we played Luton and won 7-0. After that we went straight to the Arsenal vs. Bernley game where Arsenal won 3-0. The stadium and the atmoshpere were amazing. After the game we got on the "tube"/subway and headed to Covent Garden where we had some free time to shop around. We then met at Maxwells for a team dinner. Jim let us eat dessert again! After dinner we went back to the hotel to freshen up for our night on the town.

Day 3: We started our day off with a three hour tour where we saw Big Ben, Parliament, the Buckingham Palace, and we even got out to see the changing of the guards!! Then we tried to make one of the guards laugh and we got a smile! After that, most of us headed to local restaurants for fish and chips...delicious! We then spent the afternoon on our own shopping and exploring London. After that we all headed to the original Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. Then many of us headed to a famous London theater to see the show Wicked. Then it was off to bed because we had a 4am wakeup call to travel to Germany!

Day 4: Today we got an early start as we woke up at 4 o'clock am to catch our flight to Cologne, Germany, where we arrived just after 10. There we met our tour guide and bus which took us into the city of Cologne. We had some free time there where we had lunch at the traditional German cafes and then had time to shop for a bit. Shortly after we met up again to take our cruise on the Rhine river, which lasted about an hour. From there, we went to an Italian restaurant to have a pregame email. We had spaghetti and unfortunately Jim thought it was best that we didn't eat the ice cream for dessert... We then traveled about an hour to our game against Bayer 04, who is a professional german team that competes in the German league 2. The game was a battle, but after being down 1-0, emily castle tied the game shortly after off of a cross from laura diclemente. The game winning goal was scored by Tara ricciardi about 15 minutes into the second half. It was probably one of the best games that we've ever played and it was great to beating such a high level team. After we traveled to our hotel in valkengurgh, holland.

Day 5: Today we were able to sleep in till 9 o'clock and we had breakfast at the hotel. After, we took advantage of having the morning off and spent it walking around the village where our hotel is located, and had lunch on our own. We met around 1 o'clock to depart for our adventure day in the caves. It was awesome and everyone had a great time. The caves were 50 meters below the ground and the program consisted of two parts. The group that was mountain biking spent about an hour riding through the caves, traveling a total of 7 miles. Some parts of the cave were extremely low and we had to duck down so we woulnt hit our heads, at other parts we had to ride up huge hills, which killed our quads, but the ride down the hill at the end made it all worth it. The other part of the program consisted of a team adventure and completing various assignments. The different tasks included finding a key to unlock a cage, shooting a bow and arrow to pop a balloon, and since Schotty missed after two attempts, we had to walk through freezing water up to our knees to get across a river. We also had to take a boat, which we moved by using the rope above us to pull ourselves along. After that we were in complete darkness and had to hold on to a rope to get to the end of the cave. Fortunately, there were only minor injuries: Jackie fell off her bike, Tara ran into a wall on her bike, and Walker hit her head on the two be a half foot ceilings. When the adventures were over we headed back to our hotel for dinner and the restaurant. We also had cake for Catie V who turned 21 today and Em Castle who turns 19 tomorrow. Everyone relaxed for the evening to get ready for tomorrow.

Day 6: We started our day off with a buffet breakfast at our hotel. Then, we visited the American Cemetery in Margraten. This cemetery was donated to our country as a testament to our sacrifices during World War II. Visiting this cemetery was touching experience for all of us. From Margraten, we traveled to Maastricht, the oldest city in Holland. Our entertaining tour guide, Hub, took us on a thirty minute walking tour of the historical city. Then, we had several hours to explore the city on our own and shop. After spending time in Maastricht, our team returned to the hotel for a pre-game dinner. That night, we played our final soccer match against Roda J.C. Unfortunately, we lost the game 2-1 but played well. Laura DiClemente was the lone goal scorer for the Friars with a great shot from outside of the penalty box. Overall, we played well but the Holland team were more technical and got the best of us. Following the game, we joined members of the opposing club for a reception in the club house.

Day 7: Today we traveled to the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. The first thing our team did here was visit the Anne Frank House. This was a very sad but enlightening experience for everyone. After this, we had a few hours to explore Amsterdam on our own. In mid-afternoon, we came together as a team and took a canal cruise through the city. Following the water tour, we ate dinner at 'de Krooprins.' After dinner, we were all exhausted and returned to the hotel.

Day 8: We started our day off with a breakfast buffet at our hotel. Then we traveled to Aachen, Germany. This town was the home of Charlemagne, the legendary 8th century King of the Franks and Holy Roman Empire. In Aachen, we walked around the historical streets and shopped. From Aachen, we went to Vaals, the point at which the borders of Holland, Belgium, and Germany converge. This was a great photo opportunity for our team because we could all stand in the three countries at once. After taking tons of pictures, we walked a few minutes to eat dinner at 'de Bokkerijder' restaurant. This was a great location for our closing meal for our trip. After dinner, we drove to Tilburg, Holland for our final soccer event. There, we watched a professional match between Willem II and FC Twente. After the game, we returned to our hotel to pack our bags and prepare for our long journey home.

Overall, the team had an outstanding trip!! It was amazing experience that none of us will ever forget. We thank all of you who supported our team and made this trip possible. We look forward to sharing more stories with you in the future. Thanks again!

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