August 17, 2013

SOCCER EUROPE BLOG - NMU Plays in Netherlands

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University soccer is currently in Europe for a two-week preseason trip. Members of the team will be posting to NMUWildcats.com daily about their activities for the day. Here is a perspective from Haley Boroughf and Coach Brittany Buckingham during their first days in the Netherlands.

Goedemorgen from the Netherlands! As you can see our Dutch is really coming along nicely after only four days in Europe. We're greeting you with 'good morning' because that is the best part of our days. This is mostly due to the delicious breakfast provided by the hotel. Every morning we wake up to fresh bread, croissants, fruit, yogurt, freshly squeezed orange juice, and Buck's favorite, bacon. We are sufficiently satisfied and ready to continue our days of exploring in a foreign country.

Friday morning we traveled to the German city of Munster. We got off the bus to meet our tour guide, Gertrude, and quickly learned that the most common method of transportation is the bicycle. There are over 600,000 bicycles in the city since most citizens have two each: one for weekends and one for everyday use. Gertrude showed us around many historical sites and structures, including the astronomical clock inside the Munster Cathedral. We also saw St. Lamberti's Church which has three cages attached to the clock tower where the leaders of the Anabaptist movement were left to be eaten by the birds in 1500s. We had a little free time to spend some Euros shopping in the city before we ate a light lunch of German cuisine. We boarded back up on the bus and were finally off to play some "football" in the tournament in Ulft, Netherlands.

Our team was split into two and both teams got to play one game on Friday evening. The competition was tough, but both teams stepped up to the challenge. We are still getting to know one another, particularly the incoming freshmen, but each game we get closer as a unit. Saturday we were back at it again with two games for each team. We got to ride a coach bus of a Dutch professional football squad, which was a delightful change from the buses we take long trips on, back in the States. One of our teams got the opportunity to play Ajax, which is a professional premiere league team. Although the result wasn't what we were hoping for, the girls gave a great effort, learned a lot, and the final scoreboard read "2-0". The other three games were well fought and by the end of the day all the girls were exhausted from lots and lots of soccer.

After dinner at the hotel and a shower for all of us (we needed it), we have a few hours to relax, though most of us are retiring for the evening. Sunday both teams have their last tournament game. We hope to continue with our effort and learn from the experienced teams we are playing here in Europe.

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