Soccer (W)

Women's Soccer begins pre-season training in England

The Catawba womenís soccer team headed off to England and Wales to begin its pre-season training for the 2004 season. Check out the photo gallery in the near future to see some of the sights. The following is a day-by-day look at the trip. Wednesday, August 11 After departing Charlotte at noon and leaving Atlanta at 6 pm, the team arrived at Londonís Gatwick Airport at 7 am local time. We met up with our tour guide, Jacqui, and our bus driver, Dave, and departed for Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and a home of Queen Elizabeth II. After a tour of the castle, we were back on the bus for a first look at London. Following the ĎRound Londoní motorcoach tour, we headed for Covent Garden for lunch. A former fruit and vegetable market, Covent Garden is now home to shops restaurants and entertaining street performers. Following lunch and a little browsing through some of the shops, we departed for check-in at the International Hotel in the Docklands area of London. After our 7 pm dinner at the hotel it was time to get some much needed sleep as exhaustion had begun to set in after being awake for the better part of nearly 30 hours. Thursday, August 12 Breakfast was followed by a workout a local pitch before a full day of sightseeing. The first stop was the Tower of London home of the Crown Jewels. The earliest parts of the castle were begun in the late 11th century. Next up was a look at the reconstructed Globe Theatre near the site of the original, where many of Williams Shakespeareís plays were viewed. A walk across the Millennium Bridge leads us to St. Paulís Cathedral, site of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. After a full day we returned to the hotel for a late dinner and rest. Friday, August 13 Another packed day of sightseeing was followed by the opening match of the tour. The day began with a trip to Buckingham Palace to view the Changing of the Guards. A nice walk from the Palace up the Mall leads to Trafalgar Square. Down from Trafalgar Square is the Houses of Parliament with the clock tower ĎBig Bení. Across the street from Parliament is Westminster Abbey, home of the British coronations since the 11th century. Still an active church, many of Englandís royalty are buried or memorialized here. We returned to Covent Garden for a pre-game meal and we then departed north of the city to Watford to face the Queens Park Rangers women. After surrendering an early goal, scores by Hayley Bollinger and Carrie Wollaston helped gain a 2-2 against the team of semi-professionals. Saturday, August 14 Breakfast was again followed by a morning workout before heading off to the suburb of Tottenham to watch the Premiership League opener between host Tottenham and Liverpool, two of the top teams of the top English League. The teams battled to a 1-1 tie in front of a packed house of 35,000 at White Hart Lane. The passion of the crowd and the singing back and forth between the fans of each side added to the atmosphere of a very exciting match. The afternoon was free to explore the Docklands area around the hotel which includes the newly renovated Canary Wharf. The Canary Wharf tower is Britainís largest building and the area features many shops and restaurants. Sunday, August 15 We departed at 8 am and headed towards the west of England for Bristol. Leaving the bustling city, we headed across the plains and rolling hills of the English countryside to the town of Bath. The town is considered one of the nicest in England and is home to the famous Roman Baths. After a tour of the baths, time was spent walking around the town. A short drive from Bath led us to Keynsham for the second match of the tour. A sparkling first half led to a 4-1 win. Lauren Whitley, Stephanie Morey, Jennifer Lowe and McKenzie Burman tallied the goals. A social with the Keynsham squad followed before departing for the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Bristol. Monday, August 16 The morning and afternoon was spent exploring the historic seaport of Bristol. Late in the day we boarded our coach and headed to our next stop, Cardiff, Wales, and the Quality Hotel Cardiff. During the ride our tour guide, Jacqui, taught us several Welsh songs, including one about the fluffy sheep that became an instant favorite with Coach Cullen. Dinner at the hotel was followed by an evening mile and half run up to the Castle Coch and back. Tuesday, August 17 After breakfast, we returned to the Welsh capital of Cardiff. The late morning included a look at Cardiff Castle and the early afternoon was spent taking in the sites of the town, including the sprawling shopping areas. We returned to the Quality Hotel for a pre-game lunch before the final match of the tour against the Cardiff Bluebirds. McKenzie Burman helped cut into a 2-0 deficit, but the Bluebirds went on to take a 3-1 win. Wednesday, August 18 An early 4 am wake-up was needed for our three-hour ride back to London to catch our 11 am flight out of Gatwick Airport. The eight-hour flight saw us arrive back in Atlanta shortly after 3 pm and we departed at 5:30 pm on our final leg of the journey, arriving in Charlotte around 7 pm. The trip was enjoyed by all and was excellently run by Harvard Sports. Many thanks to Jacqui, and to our driver, Dave, whose insight on the history of London and the surrounding area was greatly appreciated. The trip was a lifetime memory for the girls, one which will be fondly recalled time and time again. Coach Cullen would like to give his thanks to the entire party who were respectful, polite and represented themselves, their families and school with class on and off the field. #####

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Soccer (W) Team Photo