Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day 10 and 11: Last Day and Reflections

On our last day we woke up to a very bright and sunny day.  We did some light running and regeneration to help our bodies recuperate from having four games in six days.  After our running we participated in some team building exercises that got some good laughs.  We started doing a little packing and then departed for Germany to see our last professional match.

The German Bundesliga is one of the best leagues around the world and is known for its raucous atmosphere.  We ended up
sharing our bus with a D3 girls team from Ohio who were on a similar tour.  The match we were going to was Bayer Leverkusen versus Freiburg.  The stadium held about 50,000 fans and it was Leverkusen's first home game of the season.  At every seat they had put Leverkusen flags for fans to wave around and when we first walked in we were
bombarded with a wall of noise and colored flags waving in the air.

Leverkusen jumped out to an early 1-0 lead before Freiburg pulled one back just before half.  The second half proved to be too much for Freiburg however as Leverkusen scored 2 unanswered goals to finish with a 3-1 win.  We then traveled back to our hotel and finished packing before heading into town for our last night out in Europe.

Throughout the trip we saw four professional matches, two training
sessions, played four matches of our own and saw many different towns and cities in the Netherlands, Holland, and Germany. It was a fantastic trip and for many of us it was the highlight of our summer. This trip also served as a tool to bring us closer as a team and have a chance to play against very good teams before our season had even started.  We are looking forward to starting the real season this

Signing off,
The Husson Men's Soccer Team

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 9: MVV Training, Maastricht, and Roda JC Match

::by Stephen Berenyi and Charles Bujambi

Husson men's soccer woke up this morning for the hotel breakfast at 8:30. We would start our day out by traveling to watch MVV train. It was a great experience and we got to ask high level coaches a variety of questions followed by a picture with the players. The assistant coach of the club was the assistant coach of Netherlands back in the last World Cup in South Africa. This team was able to make it to the finals in South Africa. 

The majority of our day was spent in Maastricht after the training session. We ate lunch there and were giving a few hours to explore the shops. It was the teams final opportunity to shop and the last opportunity to visit a European town. We were transferred back to the hotel to eat a team dinner before heading out for our final event of the evening. 

The professional match we attended was Roda JC against SC Cambuur. We had the experience of watching Roda play a match against Ajax FC as well as watch them train earlier in the week. The atmosphere of the match was most memorable. The huge displays screens located at the corners on stadium wrote Husson University as they welcomed us and showed our attendance at the match. The match was filled with roaring chants and clapping especially since the home team was winning the match. The beginning of the match began with fireworks and the Netherlands' anthem. Roda came away with the win 2-0 at the end of the night. Our team then departed for the hotel back to Sittard where we will start some of our packing for the return flight early Sunday morning as well as rest for the remaining few days.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Day 8: Aachen, Germany and Final Match vs. Vaesrade

::by Chris DelGiudice and Jay Cuttle

Today we awoke at 8:30AM and made our way down to the dinning room for yet another fantastic American style breakfast. After we had finished with breakfast and had a short regeneration session it was time for the team to board the bus and depart for our first destination of the day. Aachen, Germany is a magnificent town which was originally colonized by the Romans 2000 thousand years ago for its warm healthy spring water. The Romans believed it to have healing powers for anyone it touched. After arriving we made our way up toward the cathedral where we encountered the man responsible for our trip, Joe Totmam. Joe is the head of the Harvard Sports Group which put together this once in a lifetime trip. Joe explained to us how the Cathedral had been leveled during the second world war and was brought back to life by dedicated works who rebuilt it by hand. Upon entering the Cathedral it became very apparent the amount of work that was put into building such a masterpiece. After exiting the Cathedral we were given a chance to roam free throughout the city to shop, eat and explore. 

Next it was off to the Lindt chocolate factory where we were able to visit the outlet store. Amazing is the first word that comes to mind when entering this massive store. Everywhere you look there is shelves full of all different types of chocolate. Our next stop was Vaals, the highest point in Holland, where we made our way to the rock the is at the center of the three way intersection of Germany, Belgium and Holland. The team then made the short walk down the road to Restaurant de Bokkerijder. The view from the restaurant was priceless and the food just as amazing to compliment it. 

After finishing the pre-game meal we departed for the Vaesrade complex to prepare for our final match of the trip. The game was fought hard on both sides with Husson taking an early one goal lead through Stephen Berenyi. Vaesrade soon answered and fought hard until the end of the game. The final result was 4-1. This game brought an end to our matches in Europe giving us one draw three losses. The results were not what we had hoped for, but the experience at that level is something that stick with us all throughout the upcoming season. We arrived back in Sittard around 10:00PM and got ready to check out the city's night life. Two days and two professional matches to go on the trip.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day 7: Roda JC Training and Match 3 vs. Sporting Heerlen

::by Andrew Austin

Us Mainers are no strangers to rainy weather. So it came as no surprise when we woke up this morning to foggy skies and a slight drizzle. We can't complain, since the weather has been beautiful every day leading up. After breakfast we took a short bus ride to where Roda JC practices and got to watch them train. It was very cool to see what drills a professional team does and the high level of skill and intensity they play at. After the practice we got to meet and take some pictures with a few of the players.

When we got back to the hotel we had a lot of much needed down time to relax before our game against Sporting Heerlen at 7:30 PM. Throughout the game it was evident that we were playing much better than the previous game despite the final score of 7-0. Coach Gettler was impressed with our effort and ability to keep our composure. All in all it was a great learning experience, and I feel it will help build us as a team in the long run.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 6: Sightseeing in Cologne and Rhine River Cruise

::by Zach Sutherland

After starting our day off with breakfast and a quick team meeting, we boarded the bus and began our drive to Cologne. As we arrived the Cathedral was breathtaking as it dwarfed the surrounding buildings. All of our team made the 533 step journey to the top and were greeted by a spectacular view. Next we enjoyed the variety of local shops and stores.

Once the group finished exploring Cologne we drove a short hour to our Rhine river cruise. The cruise lasted an hour and took us to Remagen where we ate a delicious Italian dinner at Chez Franco. After a short walk around Remagen we boarded back on the bus and headed to our hotel so we could prepare for tomorrow's match.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day 5: Sightseeing in Maastricht and Valkenburg

::by Andrew Perkins, Jay Cuttle, Cam Libbey, and Andy Stevick

Our day began with an early breakfast at the hotel followed by a light run to regenerate our bodies after our game on Sunday. After the run we departed for the World War II memorial cemetery which turned out to be a very humbling experience. It was a once in a lifetime experience. There was a large monument with a reflecting pool. On both sides of the monument there was a wall which honored the fallen American soldiers from World War II. It was a very humbling experience which helped to bring us closer together as teammates and Americans.

Once we left the cemetery we took a short bus ride to Maastricht. There we received a leisurely tour of the historical sites of Maastricht. One of the highlights of the tour was when our tour guide, “Big Phil” showed us Hells Gate. Hells Gate was where the people who were infected by the plague were forced to leave the city, outside there was a small building where the nuns of the city treated them until their death.

We then took off for Valkenburg on the 2012 “Coach Bus of the Year.” As we arrived in the town, one of the first things we saw was a path leading to a historical tower which is now used as a tourist attraction that includes a zip line, a luge track, and a chair lift, as well as a restaurant and bar. Yet again our awesome tour guide “Big Phil" got us a group rate for the zip line and most of the team took the leap of faith off the tower. It was an exhilarating experience and was a high point of the day.

The rest of the day was spent shopping for family and friends and sightseeing before we headed back to our hotel. We are heading to Germany for the first time tomorrow and are looking forward to being exposed to yet another culture.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day 4: Match vs. VV Schaarn and Standard Liege Game

::by Providence Mbabazi

On Sunday August 4th 2013, it was our 4th day in Europe. We woke up early to do some running and stretching to strengthen up our bodies, as most of us were tired from the game the night before.

After we had breakfast and soon after we headed to the game and faced a great Division three team in Netherlands called Schaarn. It was a very hot day, so we played three thirty minute periods. We worked hard for our first 30 minutes and it proved to be good competition. The second half however, was not as good as the first. We turned things around in the third, finishing strong by giving up no goals.

 After the game we came back to the hotel, showered and relaxed for a little before diner. After dinner we headed to Liege, Belgium to watch Standard de Liege game of the Jupiler league (Belgium D1 league) against Lierse. The atmosphere at the game was intense. The game finished 3-0 in favor of the home team. The game was nice and we had fun in Liege before we came back to the hotel for the night.