<em>Andiamo Italia!</em> After Pair Of Games Near Venice, Women's Soccer Heads South To Florence

March 4, 2009

Loyola's women's soccer team is on a tour of Italy during the College's 2009 Spring Break. Senior Amanda Piccirilli writes the first installment of a blog that will detail the team's travels.

FLORENCE, Italy - Hello All!

It's a rainy and cold Wednesday, but that's not stopping us from our travels here. We're finally continuing our travels to a different part of the country, and Florence is our next destination.

Since we spoke to you last, we've played two of our three matches. Monday night we played ACF Venezia under the lights. It was a close game, but the other team ended up pulling away with a 2-1 victory. ACF Venezia's team was made of up women between the ages 20-30. It was interesting to see the different styles of play and how they play soccer in a different country. Although it's a universal sport, it is very different in Italy than the United States. Officiating was a little questionable, but we're not going to go there. The game was a great learning experience and we were looking forward to our match the following day.

Oh, one last thing about the ACF Venezia game!! Michaleen Colgan, one of our women's soccer SuperFans who attends every match of ours, is studying abroad in Paris this semester. Because of her dedication and love for the team, she traveled from Paris to Venice to hang out with the team and cheer us on during our match. Like always, she was the loudest fan there, cheering on her Greyhounds the whole game. Sadly, the ACF Venezia fans showed her up when they used sparklers to celebrate after their team scored their two goals. Don't worry Mikey, we'll get you some of them for next season!

On Tuesday, we took a two hour bus ride in the afternoon to play Tavagnacco FC, which is located in northern Italy. The location of Tavagnacco field is so far north that we were able to see the mountains in Austria. The team we play against was a very skilled and aggressive team. The women we played against ranged from 20-29 years old and besides soccer either have a full time job or go to the university. After 90 minutes of rain and cold weather, we ended up losing 2-0. Being one of the top teams in the Serie A1 division, we were happy with our performance although we believe we could have played better against them. After the game, the club offered us snacks and drinks up in their club house. We were able to talk and eat with players from the other team. The captain on their team spoke English very well, so we were able to find out a lot of information from her.

I'm writing this to you on our three and a half hour bus ride to Florence. It's pouring rain outside, but we're still planning on sightseeing with a tour guide. We're planning on seeing the Pontevecchio Bridge, the "Duomo", Santa Maria Novella, and many more. Our time in Florence is only for a day, so we're using our time wisely.

Tomorrow morning (Thursday) we're on the road again, traveling to our final destination, Rome. We will spend our last four days in Rome where we have sightseeing scheduled and our third match. On Saturday we're trying to see a professional soccer game at the Roma stadium. We're keeping our fingers crossed that we can somehow get tickets for that game.