Tag Archive: Women’s Soccer


Italy

A week ago I was basking in the sun in Verona, Italy. Today, I am thankful that the sun came out even though it is 8 degrees outside in Hjorring, Denmark! We, my team and I, flew into an airport in Milan late last Monday night, got on the team’s bus and had a two hour trip to Verona. We stayed in a very nice, top notch hotel all the way until we left Thursday morning. I roomed with Stephanie. We basically had the 2nd floor of the hotel just for our team. There was entire room where our physio-therapist set up the massage table and had all the extra water and anything else we might need. Our days in Verona weren’t too exciting. Tuesday we slept in, ate breakfast, trained, ate lunch, hung out, slept, ate again, went to the stadium in the city to train, ate dinner and went to bed. Wednesday was game day, but they allowed us to go into the city if we wanted to for 1 hour. The bus ride took about 30 minutes and then we ended up at the exact place I had been back in 2005 when I went to Italy with my club team from IMG in Florida. I walked by the coliseum, found the balcony of Juliet from Romeo and Juliet, ate some pistachio and chocolate gelato from the same place I did 4.5 years ago, and walked the skinny streets looking in all the windows. We quickly made our way back to the bus and made it to the hotel in time for a tactical field session followed by yet more food. We spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping and preparing for the game. One more meal before leaving and it was off to the stadium. They actually had the Champions League theme song playing this time (last game at home we were very disappointed when we didn’t hear the song!), the field was pretty nice, and the stadium was so big! We had these huge comfy racecar-like seats to sit in on the sideline. We ended up playing very poorly and lost 2-1 against Bardolino who we had beat 4-0 one week earlier! We returned to the hotel fairly late, but still had to have another meal! Wow…talk about lots of food! We got up at 530 the next morning and headed back to the airport to fly home. It was a long day traveling followed by a very cold training session with the 2nd team an hour after getting home! I was a bit tired by the time I got home. A week later and I finally feel well rested.

Even though we lost in Italy, we still move on to the round of 16 in the Champions League. We will be playing a very good team from Lyons, France. We play home first on the 5th of November and play in Lyons on the 11th. We haven’t been playing very well as a team since Italy, so hopefully we are able to step it up here in the next couple weeks so we are ready for the big matches!

I don’t have pictures yet from the trip. Our photographer is making us CDs from the trip and all the pictures he took. I have a few on my camera of the stadium but not much else. I have yet to download them to my computer. Once I do, I’ll be sure to put them up for you to see.

Saturday we will be traveling by plane to Copenhagen, which would normally be a 5.5+hr bus ride so I am really happy about that! It is only a 45 minutes bus ride to the airport and then a 45 min flight to Copenhagen. We leave at 10, play at 1 and then return after that.

Advertisements

FlagsSignFortuna Hjorring (4) vs Bardolino Verona (0)

Excitement buzzed around the table as we ate our pre-game meal together of chicken and vegetable pasta salad and continued as we transferred ourselves down the street to the stadium.

It was a lively evening at Hjorring staddion. The crowd numbered 1,326. The little girls from the club were sporting the all green faces with white stripes forming a cross going from the middle of the forehead down the nose to the bottom of the chin and then likewise from cheek to cheek. Fans were chanting supporting songs in Danish probably saying “Go Fortuna, Go!”

Our opponent, Bardolino Verona from Verona, Italy arrived late Monday night. We saw them for the first time when we were walking around looking at the field. They were dressed in their warm-ups and long winter coats and it looked like it felt really cold to them here. After coming from South Carolina, I would have to agree with them. The seasons are definitely changing and it is to the point where I can say good bye to the shorts and t-shirts and pull out the hats, gloves, and long-johns!

The day had been off and on with bouts of rain, but as we came out onto the field to warm-up a rainbow stretched from one end of the field to the other. The field looked exquisite, although they put a ton of sand on it causing the girls to get some pretty brutal wounds during the game, the flags flew proudly, and the fans steadily filled up the stands and all the standing room.

Pre-game Rainbow

We ended up earning a comfortable victory at home with a score of 4-0. It could have easily been by more but we had a handful of some very beautiful shots that unfortunately deflected off the cross bar. Our team really pulled it together for this game and we looked in control of the entire match.

I was sitting next to my teammate Stephanie, who is from Jordan, most of the game and we were just sitting, laughing, enjoying ourselves, and talking about how we couldn’t believe we were playing in the Champions League. It was an awesome night and I was so proud of my team! We hit the road (sky more so) on Monday to Verona, Italy where we will play the second leg of the first round. We have a great chance of securing another victory, thus prolonging our play in the Champions League. I am excited to see how things turn out.

Steph and Me

As for my hip, I am still feeling encouraged about my current progress. I will play again with the second team on Saturday in Aalborg and see how I am really feeling. Then there is another match Sunday with the first team and hopefully I will get some minutes with them as well. Overall, I am happy here, am still enjoying myself, and always look forward to training and matches. Even though soccer has technically turned into my full-time job, I wake up each morning excited about improving and working my way into the line up!