European Soccer Tour: Blog #2
Athletics - posted on 3/19/2010The Lakeland soccer program is spending its spring break on a 10-day European Soccer Tour in the United Kingdom.During the visit, members of the men's and women's soccer teams will compete against local soccer teams, visit tourist attractions and attend professional soccer games in and around London and Chester.Student-athletes from both teams will be blogging regularly throughout the trip. See below for their thoughts and observations from England.
On a cold and windy morning in Liverpool, England, the guys had their first match against Tranmere Rovers with a final score of 3-0. We (the girls) each had three cameras and we were taking pictures throughout the match, while the opposition referred to us as "their paparazzi." Then we departed for the Liverpool city centre for the day. We drove through a tunnel under the River Mersey and when we got off the bus we saw a sign that read "Humped Zebra Crossing" (we later figured out that it simply meant a crosswalk with a speed bump). We stopped for lunch at a pizza express, which was not really express, but enjoyed the pizza as it was not the usual pepperoni and sausage variety we are used to.
After lunch, we took a double-decker, open-top bus tour throughout the city to see the main parts of Liverpool, including: a Queen Elizabeth Statue, The Beatles Hotel, China Town, the World's Largest Roman Catholic Church, and the World's Largest Castle. We also saw St. Luke's Church and the stained glass windows as it remains from the bombing during World War II. The Empire Theatre was where the Beatles and other great artists performed. Also, there was a memorial of concrete suitcases to remember those who passed away on the Titanic. After the bus tour, we walked around the harbour shop area and headed back to the hotel for dinner. We decided to get out of the hotel for the night and go to the Chester city centre. As we were walking around we noticed hundreds of people dressed as blue smurfs for a party at a local establishment. It was quite interesting, but all of us were able to get a blue shirt from them.
Tuesday came and we had our usual breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, yogurt, fruit, juice, black pudding, and coffee. After breakfast we headed to Manchester for the day and stopped off first at the Trafford Centre Mall. It was unlike any mall we've seen before. There were huge fountains, tall pillars and an arched glass ceiling. We stopped for lunch in the food court, which had the look of a huge cruise ship and also had a huge movie screen. The perimeter had a wide variety of restaurants to choose from and there was also a casino and bowling alley.
Then we stopped at Manchester United's Stadium, Old Trafford, for a guided tour. Our tour guide, Alan, asked what brought us to England and he replied to our answer of soccer by correcting us with football. He does, however, enjoy watching American football and does support the Washington Redskins. As we started the tour he told us about the 100 year history of the stadium and the more extensive history of the club. We had an opportunity to view the team lounge and changing rooms, as well as walk out of the tunnel just like the players do on match days.
We had some time before the guys game and stopped at an indoor ski arena where you could learn to ski and snowboard.
The guys played Woodley Sport FC for their second match under the lights on field turf. Ben Koepsell and Jeremy Hardy scored two very nice goals despite a losing effort.
- junior Maria Santelli and senior Gina Weiss (Monday and Tuesday)
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