May 24, 2013
The California freshmen wrote this first blog entry about the Golden Bears' trip to Costa Rica. Visit the team's Facebook page - Facebook.com/CalWomensSoccer - for more details, photos and videos from Costa Rica.
BLOG #1: We departed Berkeley at 10:30 p.m. and arrived at SFO at around 11:00 p.m. As usual we had some difficulties with checking on the balls and as freshman we were responsible for them. According to the very attentive TSAs, all the air had to be out of the balls before we checked them in. It took us awhile, but we finally finished and were able to enjoy the rest of our time at the airport.
On day one on our adventure to Costa Rica we experienced what they meant by humidity. After that very long flight all we wanted to do was get to the hotel and take a shower. As we left the airport we met Lily, a correspondent for Costa Rica Soccer, who met us at the bus to take us to our hotel. After lunch, looking at the itinerary, and taking a much-needed shower, we had time to so what ever wanted. Some slept others went to the pool, but it was a pretty relaxing day.
On day 2 we were scheduled to visit an orphanage, tour the city and play a game in the afternoon. At the orphanage we played with underprivileged little boys and girls with single mothers. Some tried while others succeeded at speaking Spanish to the little kids, but it didn't matter because all they wanted to do was play. The kids were so cute and enthusiastic even though they could barely understand us; they had a great time. After our happy send off from the orphanage, we left to explore the city. Esteban, our tour guide, took us through the city and showed us many of the monuments that made up the history of Costa Rica. After that we finally made it to the market where we could do a little shopping.
We stopped at a little restaurant on the way home where we enjoyed some traditional Costa Rican food. We had some chicken, with rice and beans (which seems to be most of the meals here!) and some fried plantains. Along with the live musicians playing a huge wooden xylophone, we ate off of banana leaves and got to play some traditional Costa Rican games. Some of the girls got a little competitive, but we had so much fun!
We went back to the hotel to rest before our game. At 5 we had a brief team meeting before running out to the bus in the rain. Luckily, the rain stopped before our bus stopped at the field with the UCEM team. We found out the referee of our game is one of the most famous referees in Costa Rica and is going to be reffing the finals for the Costa Rican professional league finals on Saturday.
Team 2 played first against UCEM. The UCEM girls were skilled, but the Cal bears went up 1-0 with a goal from Taylor. Unfortunately, Billy came out early in the game with an injury. Team 1 went in for the next half of the half and also scored with a goal from Lorin Hom to make the score 2-0. At halftime everyone covered themselves in bug spray to protect ourselves from the bugs everywhere. The second half, the fact that the Costa Rican team only had 15 players became a little more apparent, but they still made it a hard game. The game ended at 4-0 with goals from Celeste B. and Kory.
After the game, our teams came together and both coaches made a speech, translated by Esteban. Taylor won MVP of the game for our team, and Neil gave MVP to the goalie of UCEM, who had an amazing game.
Exhausted from a long day, we drove back to the hotel, had dinner and went to sleep. Team 1: 2 points. Team 2: 0 points