By Arianna Haradon
Over Spring Break 2012, Southwestern’s women’s soccer players will travel to England as a team.
“We will be doing a number of things… from touring, to watching professional soccer, to working with the trainers in the [English Premier League], and actually playing professional women’s teams ourselves. It’s going to be an amazing way to explore and bond with the team!” captain Lyndsey Resnik said.
The majority of the team, as well as Head Coach Jene Baclawski, Assistant Coaches Amanda Garrison and Jessica Kim, and Assistant Athletic Trainer Shawna Loberg, will go on the trip.
“I really think that this is an experience none of us will ever forget, myself included. It’s exciting that we will be going while they are preparing for the Olympics,” Head Coach Jene Baclawski said.
As a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) team, the women’s soccer team at Southwestern is allowed to go on a foreign trip every four years. However, they haven’t participated in a trip since the 1990s.
“In our country, not a lot of girls grow up watching high level soccer, so we are trying to get the players here to appreciate the game outside of their own bubble of personal experience,” Baclawski said.
The players raised money themselves to go on the trip.
“People are paying in different ways. Everyone is responsible for their own way whether that’s through their parents or providing the money themselves,” Resnik said.
This trip will likely be an unforgettable experience for both the players and the coaches.
“An abroad trip is good for cultural experience. Soccer in England is the best in the world and we want to do a trip for team bonding. While we are there we are going to see [the English Soccer teams] Manchester United and Arsenal. Those are two of the best teams in the world right now. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Baclawski said.
While in England, the team will have a chance to improve their skills.
“The fact that we get to play professional women’s teams is intimidating but super exciting! I feel that it will help us as a team to identify with our strengths and weaknesses and be able to work through them together. It’s always a benefit to play a team that challenges you, that’s what defines you as a team and makes you a better and a more well rounded team. I know that all of us are very excited for what’s to come and plan on taking advantage of all the opportunities that this trip offers!” Resnik said.
“It will be neat for them to see how they compare to English soccer players. I hope that
they will make lasting friendships and gain an appreciation for the international side of the game,” Baclawski said.