May 5, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Beginning Sunday, May 6, the LMU women's soccer team will embark on an 11-day trip oversees, giving the squad an opportunity to experience different country's cultures and histories, tour some of the greatest soccer stadiums and facilities in the world and play foreign competition.
"The NCAA allows teams to travel internationally once every four years," said head coach Michelle Myers. "Our women's soccer program took their first trip back in 2004 when (former player and current assistant coach) Joslyn Slovek was just a freshman and we decided it was time to take advantage of that opportunity once again."
The Lions will be traveling to England and the Netherlands, having chose these destinations because of their rich soccer traditions and unique histories, along with the fact that a pair of current LMU players call each of those countries home. Senior Rachel Fell is from Crawley, England while sophomore Linda Bakker hails from Rustenberg, Netherlands.
"We felt it would be a wonderful opportunity for (Rachel and Linda) to share with their teammates and coaches their heritage," said Myers. "This trip is a combination of learning about the different countries and their cultures while experiencing it firsthand. Our players have spent the spring reading books, taking quizzes, doing presentations and keeping journals on these countries.
"We are constantly preaching to our players that college athletics is just one step down from being a professional and we want them to act like professionals," Myers continued. "Witnessing how much soccer is respected in these countries and the actual history of their sport will help our athletes understand how fortunate they are to be competing at one of the highest levels in the states and motivate them to be proud representatives of their sport."
The LMU squad will be touring Wembley Stadium in London as well as Old Trafford Stadium & Museum, home to Manchester United Football Club. They will also play a pair of matches, taking on the Manchester City Ladies and the Charlton Ladies.
"A trip like this takes a lot of work to prepare and to raise the funds so it takes a commitment from each player and their family as well as our administration and university," Myers said. "We are very fortunate to have all of that support and we are excited for the great opportunity for the team and staff to bond and to create memories that will last a lifetime. To quote one of our former players who took the last trip in 2004 - `That trip was one of the highlights of my time at LMU.'
"We would like to thank everyone who has helped to make this trip possible."
Check back to LMULions.com for updates, photos and videos sent in from the team during their 11-day trip overseas.