Soccer (M)

Men's Soccer journal on Spring Break trip to Europe

The Catawba men's soccer team spent its Sping Break with a tour of several European countries. The following is a journal provided by Coach Turnbull. Be sure to check out the photo gallery in the near future for some pictures of the trip. Saturday, March 6th After a long and arduous series of flights due to a small mechanical problem with the Delta 777, we arrived in the early morning hours of Sunday for check-in at the Holland Inn. A nice little establishment set in the quaint, village town of Gulpen, Netherlands. Looking forward to learning more about the areas that we will travel with our tour guide, Pim and also our tour bus driver, Peter. Sunday, March 7th We were able to sleep-in until 10:30 am for much needed rest. Arose refreshed and excited about our tour. We transferred to Valkenburg, Netherlands for the start of our Adventure Day. Participated in rock climbing of various heights, repelling down a 90 foot well, cave exploring and also mountain biking inside tunnels in the mountains. The route we covered on bike was about 10 k and was all done in tunnels within the mountains. Later found out that there are about 80 k of tunnels. The most challenging portion ironically was the climb up the spiral staircase back to sunlight. Not sure how many steps we took upwards, but many of us were quite winded when we got to the top into the daylight and fresh air. Enjoyed a wonderful dinner at our host hotel and then spent some time in the surrounding community as the night drew to a close. Once again retired to our hotel room for some rest. Monday, March 8th Back on the bus headed for Cologne, Germany. Toured the Cathedral of Cologne and walked the 500+ stairs of the tower bell. We managed to get to the top of the tower just in time for the 12 noon bells. Certainly a memorable experience and very loud. Also had some great views of the city of Cologne from our 430 ft perch above on a beautifully sunny and clear day. We then enjoyed a cruise on the River Rhine beginning in Konigswinter, Germany. Culminating with a view of the remains of a bridge in Remagen, Germany that the US troops destroyed in WWII to prevent German forces from crossing into the Ardennes. The boat Captain then played the Star Spangled Banner over the speakers and the team was able to pay their respects as we viewed a major site of conflict in WWII. We then transferred to Mayschoss, Germany for a tour of a wine cellar and then were quickly back on the bus headed back to our host hotel for a late dinner. During our bus transfers of the day, Pim organized a three part trivia contest that helped pass the time. Needless to say, the coaching staff team won that contest easily in the third round of competition and proved our vast knowledge. It was a great way to keep everyone involved in the trip and to also provide for some “bragging rights” by the coaching staff. Tuesday, March 9th Early breakfast and then a short walk to a local soccer club for our first day of on the field training of the tour. It was a solid 50 minute session focused mainly on team shape. Our first day of snow, although the local residents insisted it was only “white rain” because it was not accumulating on the ground. After getting showered and cleaned up, we boarded the bus for a short 30 minute ride to Aachen, Germany. In Aachen, we met a local guide to provide for us a walking tour of the city’s most historic points. The walking tour lasted about an hour and then we had some free time to see the sights for ourselves. We then transferred back to the city of Vaals, Netherlands for our pre-game dinner atop the highest point in the Netherlands. Prior to the dinner, we had just enough time to visit the Three Nations Point atop Vaals. This monument is where the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany all meet. Snapped a few team photos and then we were off to dinner. Following dinner we transferred to Sittard for a friendly against a club named DVO. We won the match 6-3 and felt very happy with the performance given the amount of travel and how busy we had been. Following the game, we watched on tv Porto advance over Man U. with a draw in the Champions League. Arrived back at the hotel around midnight for a good night’s rest. Wednesday, March 10th Awoke at 7 am for a coaching staff run. Covered three miles in very cold weather. Felt good to use some muscles, but were certain not to time the run. No world records were set !! Had a good breakfast and then boarded the bus for Brussels, Belgium. Had a great tour on the bus provided by our tour guide, Pim and then were able to get out into the very large city for some touring of the sights on our own. Many people did a lot of shopping and we all enjoyed the great city. We then headed back to our hotel for our pre-game dinner, but began to worry as the snow started to fall a lot heavier. As it turned out, our second match was cancelled due to the snow making the fields un-playable. Pim then quickly made arrangement for us to go into the city of Heerlen to view the 2nd leg Champions League match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. We also had the chance to relax by playing some billiards and darts prior to the start of the match. Returned to the hotel around 11:30 pm for some more sleep after another busy day. Thursday, March 11th Awoke at 7:15 for another coaching staff run, this time joined by our Athletic Trainer, we covered 4 miles in the cold weather. After breakfast, we transferred to the city of Kerkgrade to view the Dutch professional team of Roda JC for about an hour. The team was preparing for an upcoming match vs Ajax. Training focused mainly on technical play and seemed to be fairly light in nature. Following training we visited the village of Margraten and a WW II cemetery that the US still maintains. The cemetery honors over 8,000 US soldiers who died in WW II, specifically those that were killed in the Battle of the Bulge. The team paid their respects and truly appreciated the information that our tour guide Pim provided to us about the battle and the important role the US took during those battles in the area. We then toured the city of Maastricht and got a feel for some areas to shop in. We knew we would be back in Maastricht the next day for about three hours of shopping. So mainly, we had some lunch and then headed back to the hotel for our pre-game dinner. Transferred to Puth for another friendly vs V.V. Puth. We were told they were a solid team and to be ready. In the first ten minutes we were not ready and gave away a goal. We then responded over the next 80 minutes with four goals and took full charge of the match. Once again, happy with the overall performance given the travel demands and lack of “full rest” going into the match. Friday, March 12th Last full day of the tour and we were able to sleep in until 10:30 am. Many of us awoke around 8:30 am, had a nice breakfast and walked around Gulpen until our departure for Maastricht and a full day of shopping. Spent about 4 hours in Maastricht and then boarded the tour bus back to the city of Vaals for our farewell dinner. At this dinner, the team presented to me a signed ball in which our team captain spoke that the ball was a way to say thanks for organizing the trip and providing the opportunity for them. The gift completely caught me off guard and it is a time and a place that I will truly remember for years to come. Also had the chance to celebrate our Athletic Trainers birthday with an interesting rendition of Happy Birthday sung by the team. We then meet the Georgia State women’s soccer team who were also on tour and we all then transferred back to Aachen, Germany for a professional match between Alemannia Aachen vs Lubeck. Alemannia won the match 3-1 and the home crow left the match in a festive mood. Following the match, we spent some time in Aachen and then in Valkenburg enjoying our last night in Europe. Saturday, March 13th Awoke at 4 am to pack our gear and then checked out of the Holland Inn at 4:45 am in route to Amsterdam for our flight. Once at the airport the team said goodbye to Pim and Peter (our guides) and then prepared for the long flight home. We arrived in Charlotte, NC safely and were back on campus around 9 pm. Spring break over and the last half of the Spring semester to come. The team was ready to sleep all day Sunday and to be ready for classes on Monday. We had a great trip and meet some great people. Many thanks to Pim for all of his helpfulness and knowledge. We appreciate it !!! Harvard Sports, our tour company, was outstanding and did a fantastic job from start to finish. Many thanks to them as well for such a professionally organized trip. #####

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Soccer (W) Team Scrimmage 7 p.m.


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