Field Hockey in Europe: Day 8

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Muhlenberg field hockey team wrapped up its trip to Holland, Germany and Belgium with another enjoyable day. Sophomore Gabrielle Smith is our correspondent this time.

Day 8
Ghent castle Today was nothing short of wonderful.

As we diverged slightly off the planned itinerary we traveled to the center of Ghent, a beautiful city in Belgium. While there we had the opportunity to take a canal tour! This allowed us to see many more amazing sites that we wouldn’t have been able to if we walked around due to time constraints. It also enabled us to learn a deeper meaning and past of the city.

The canal tour guide told us that Ghent was considered the best-kept secret of Europe and was in the top seven for must-see cities. We got to see a beautiful medieval castle that was built in the center of the gorgeous city to show the wealth of the ruler. It was then turned into a factory, but when the plague hit, it was closed. Now the amazing castle is home to a torture museum. We did not venture through that.

Though this city had not been on our itinerary we were all grateful we had gotten to visit.

Mules with Dutch team We then traveled back to Holland, stopping for lunch on the way to our last field hockey game. This time we are bringing home a victory! The saying may be “go big or go home;” however, in this case we are doing both!

Through great communication and teamwork as well as determination to end our trip on high note, we won the game 3-2. No harsh feelings were felt by the other team though as they treated us to dinner on site with a delicious barbecue.

The girls on the opposing team were all very nice and welcoming. We asked them questions on their culture and they did the same to us. It is so interesting to learn about others. We all tried last attempts to speak Dutch, but I think we will mostly stick to English. Some of us were able to conquer a couple phrases though!

This is a bittersweet moment. Bitter because we enjoyed the trip so much and are sad to be leaving. Sweet because we were all able to grow so much as a team and look forward to return back to ’Merica.

We have started to morph into a unit to carry us through the season. Now that we have our first win under our belts and have faced some of the best hockey players, we look forward to our season where we know that with hustle and teamwork we can compete with any team we face.