McDaniel soccer in Costa Rica

Once every three years, NCAA teams are allowed an international trip. The McDaniel soccer teams began that 2013 journey early in the morning on Aug. 5. We provide some first-person insight from that trip through blog entries.

Day 7, Blog 6

Meghan Sturgill '15

Today was a slow but enjoyable day in the beautiful land of Costa Rica. We finally got to sleep in, if 9 a.m counts... We didn't have to leave the hotel until noon, so after breakfast most of us walked into the little town of Dominical to shop and explore. Everyone loved the market, most buying souvenirs and gifts to bring back to the states (My family- you BETTER enjoy them).

We set off for our afternoon games, both the men and women played local teams. Little did we know, the field was right in the middle of the jungle. We were sweltering hot and melting before the game even started. The girls won 6-0, with goals from Allie, KB, Liv, Chelsea, Sammy, and our retired all-star Claire (assist from Sun-Wen aka Sandra). Our opponents were the most enthusiastic group of women I have ever met, they were thrilled at the opportunity to just play a single game. One of the girls was only 13, but she had such skill for that age and we will be watching her on the national level in a few years. There were girls of all different ages, all together just for the love of the game. It was truly an amazing time and experience.

On the other hand, the boys had a tough battle, losing 1-0. Paulie officially retired from badly pulling his groin (he whiffed the ball....bad). Either way, it was an enjoyable game to watch, the men did play well.

Back at the hotel we had a two hour break until we set off once again for a futsal match at 8 p.m. With much better competition and a different style play, we all enjoyed the competitiveness of the new game. In the end we won 6-5, it was definitely a close call but the game was fun to play.

Tomorrow we set off to white-water rafting, hopefully we all come back safe and sound. We shall see how it goes! 

Much love,
Meghan

Day 6, Blog 5

Sam Wilson '14

Both teams started the day off with morning training. We all ran to the field, which was a short 5 minute jog from our villas. We all stayed to the left of the road, avoiding potential contact with a crocodile coming from the river. Once we were at the field, the boys took one half and the girls took the other, and both teams had a successful training session, without a torrential downpour. Actually the whole day was beautiful, which was perfect since it was our beach day! We headed back to the villas, grabbed a quick breakfast, and hopped back on the bus to drive to the beach. Once we arrived, we walked down a forest path and we saw monkeys hanging in the trees! We continued along the path and at the end, it opened up to an amazing ocean view and a perfect sandy beach. Better yet, we practically had the whole beach to ourselves! Some of us spent time in the water, trying to ride the waves. Others sunbathed and tried to get a tan, while another group explored along the rocks and appreciated the nature around us. We saw tons of hermit crabs, tried to collect shells, and even saw some less common creatures, like a squid-like starfish. Some of us discovered that there were still living animals in the shells we collected when we brought the shells back to our beach towels and they started moving! Whatever people were doing, everyone had an amazing time. We had a delicious BBQ lunch before leaving to go to the futsol field for a little 5v5 tournament! We made four teams, mixing up the girls and the guys, even the coaches, guides, and bus driver, and played small sided 15 minute games. The winning team ended up being Coach Corrieri, Coach Frank, Coach Paul, Coach Claire, Zach Nibbelink, Chloe Gorman, and our two guides. We had a great time! Then we made our way back to the villas, but luckily we were able to watch the sunset just in time! It was gorgeous, but what else is to be expected from this beautiful country. We ended the day with a yummy dinner and a relaxing evening. It is sad that we only have 2 days left before we travel home, but we will definitely make the most of it! 

Thanks for following our trip :)

Day 5, Blog 4

Meghan Sturgill '15

Yesterday was the most exhilarating day so far into the trip, in the morning the whole group went zip lining in La Fortuna on the Arenal volcano. The majority of the group was thrilled to enjoy this new experience together, but there were definitely a few nervous faces among the crowd. Chloe, the fearless one, admitted she was terrified of heights as we reached the top of the mountain. We were all extremely proud of her as she finally cascaded down the mountain side. Everyone had a blast during the morning, the entire adventure flew by way too fast.

After we left Arenal, we traveled back to the resort for lunch and to lounge around for most of the afternoon. Both the men's and women's team had an evening game versus San Carlos, where they had a lot of local talent, a few being on the national team.The women's team tied 1-1, while the guys won 1-0.

Bright and early the following morning, we bid goodbye to La Fortuna and hopped on the bus for a 5 hour trip to the Dominical, a city near the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, we stopped at a river, notorious to the numerous crocodiles lying on the banks. They were huge, some reaching up to 20 feet. Personally, I wanted to make a human sacrifice and throw Liv into the river, but Sandra held me back. We finished off the day with fitness in the torrential down pour, thank you, Steve. After dinner, Julia and I swept up the pool table for a few hours, embarrassing a bunch of the boys. That's all for now, so far the trip has been absolutely amazing.

Yours truly,

Meghan

P.S- Hi mom!!

P.P.S- Shirley, your son says hello.

Day 3, Blog 3

Head Coach Sandy Lagana

Day three started with a great breakfast in our hotel before we left for a three hour trip to La Fortuna. Little did the group know that the roads through Costa Rica to the Arenal Volcano would cause motion sickness in the best of us. We all held on to our breakfast as we winded through the beautiful countryside. We made two stops along the way, one restroom stop and another to see our first sloth who was sleeping in the top of a tree. Meghan, Miss Animal Fact, reminded us all that sloths can sometimes fall to their deaths as they confuse their own limbs as tree limbs. Who knew?

The group arrived to La Fortuna ready for a recovery. The guys team, who hadn't played back-to-back games, heading to the training field while us ladies headed to the natural hot springs. Surprisingly enough, there weren't any complaints from the girls. The view of the Arenal Volcano is amazing. Our guides let us know that rarely do visitors get to see it through the fog. We showed up, cleared the fog, and got the best pictures. I personally like to think I had a hand in this with my presence, I think the girls feel the same way about the situation.

The group suited up and made its way through each of the springs, to find the perfect pool. Our very own Kirsten Burks learned how to swim froggy style, which I am sure will help us through white water rafting.

The team finished the day with a recovery jog and yoga session before dinner. Heading back in the pool, the group played quizzo. It's unconfirmed, but there is a good chance that Ricky and Julia cheated for the win. But the rest of the group let it go as to keep things cordial.

This morning we head to the zip line and then play our third match.

Bring it on Costa Rica!

Day 2, Blog 2

Kirsten Burks '15

Today we started out in downtown San Jose and went to the central market in groups where there were a bunch of little shops and authentic stores and food! Then we saw the national theatre and drove to Cartago, and saw the Cartago cathedral. Where there were a lot of stray friendly dogs which I personally couldn't help but to pet and play with. From there we went and watched the men play in a small town where the birthday boy, Shane McCraken scored a hat trick to leave them with a 3-2 win. From there we drove to our next game which we were tied in the first half with another goal by Julia Pope. Following we took the lead in the second half when Maggie Quinn took advantage of a mistake taken by the keeper. All in all we played a good game as a team and had another fun experience where we also had the opportunity to give away some of our old gear to a team with less resources. Heading to la fortuna to enjoy a recovery day in the hot springs!

Day 1, Blog 1

Claire Woolley '13 (now an assistant coach)

With little to no sleep the team loaded up two pickle vans and were off to the airport at 1:00am this morning. Our first flight departed at 6:00am after a sleepy check-in and security check we were off to Miami. Miami meant breakfast at 8:30 which included delicious mini muffins! Our plane left Miami at 10:20 which put us in gorgeous San Jose at 11:05...because of the time zones changing we gained some hours! Extra hours=nap time.  Our first evening was lucky enough to also be our first game night! So running on about 3-4hours of sleep we took the field, under the lights, on the side of a beautiful mountain. Ending the game in a tie 1-1 with and awesome goal by Julia Pope. After trying to sneak a dog on the bus that the team named Bano, we finally got back to the hotel, had dinner, and finally got to sleep. Bring on day 2 Costa Rica!

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