Field Hockey in Europe: Day 5

Friday, August 9, 2013

Senior Erin Cummings brings the latest from the Muhlenberg field hockey trip to Europe.

Day 5
Caution: You are about to read about an awesome day. Don’t get jealous.

practice The day started off super early at 8 a.m. (3 a.m. Berg time). After a quick breakfast, we packed the bus and drove to our first destination of the day: Kampong Field Hockey Club. As we were warming up for the training session, our Dutch coach Niels informed us that the Dutch National men’s team would be practicing on the fields immediately next to us. For those of you who missed the 2012 London Olympics, this meant we were playing within eyeshot of the silver medal team with some of the best players in the world.

One player, in particular, caught our eye: Jeroen Hertzberger. Besides being the top scorer in the EHL and incredibly easy on the eyes, Hertzberger (pictured) has a major fan in Dayna Hovern, one of our seniors. Jeroen Hertzeberger Once our training session, which was led by Niels, was over, a few of the girls were even able to sneak off, meet some of the players and snag Hertzberger’s autograph.

After an eventful morning, we bussed 20 minutes away to Hockey Republic, a fabulous store dedicated entirely to our sport, which is a rare find in America. Some of us shopped for new turf shoes or got our sticks re-gripped. We were even able to try out new sticks that weren’t available in America.

practice The team ended up staying a lot longer than expected in the store. Few minded, however, considering the beautiful Dutch men working in the store were incredibly helpful and kind.

Then came the long haul. We drove from the shop all the way to the Netherlands-Germany border. It was a two-hour ride, but a lot of the team was able to get a solid nap in. The bus ended up at Ser Muesse, where two girls from HC Blerick were waiting to eat with us. All, except the vegetarians, were served schnitzel. Since I am a veg-head, I did not have any, but it looked like the team really enjoyed it. Someone even compared it to a giant chicken finger.

With the schnitzel still in our tummies, we bussed the final three kilometers to the hockey club for our night game. After a quick warmup, we exchanged gifts with the other team. We gave America-themed headbands and Muhlenberg stickers, and they gave us a hockey club pennant. Then we played the game. We ended up losing to the Dutch girls, but we learned a lot from their style of play. Since the turf they use is different from our turf back at the Berg, it was challenging to adjust. Overall, however, the team had excellent hustle and heart.

team photo Now, we are on the bus across the border to Germany and headed towards our hotel in Dusseldorf. We are super pumped for our day off tomorrow when we are exploring the city of Cologne. Today was a physically and mentally exhausting, but after a day of rest on our legs, we are more than ready for our final two games on Saturday and Sunday!

Ask the team: What was your favorite part of the day?
Lauren “Little John” Jordan: I enjoyed the training session because we got to work as a team and learn more technical skills. And watching the Dutch national team was great because they had amazing stick skills and team chemistry.

Ashley “Smash” DeAngelis: I loved dinner because we were able to talk to Collie and Esme, two girls on the Dutch hockey team we played. They were super nice and we got to ask about their culture.

Meghan Gill: The Hockey Republic was amazing because I’ve never actually been to a hockey-only store, since I don’t live near Longstreth, the premiere field hockey store in America. I bought a shammie grip.