The Conference USA champion Memphis Lady Tigers women's soccer team will travel to Argentina during the week of March 2-10 to play exhibition matches against three of the country's top professional teams - Estudiantes de la Plata, Boca Juniors and San Lorenzo de Almagro. Members of the squad will keep fans updated on the trip by posting diary entries on this page. To view photos of the Lady Tigers in Argentina click on the link below. Check back often to see what the Lady Tigers are up to in Argentina!
March 9, 2008
Final Journal of the University of Memphis Women's Soccer Team's trip to Argentina By: Maggie Leone, Kylie Hayes, Kate Murphy, and Emiko Schwab
Sunday morning, we awoke an hour early due to alarm clock complications. So, we enjoyed our breakfast like a normal day in La Plata, Argentina! After breakfast, we took a stroll down to the Museo de Ciencias Naturals de La Plata, the only museum in La Plata and the best one in South America. We learned numerous historic facts about prehistoric species throughout the region. We had to forgo a trip to the zoo because all of the artifacts made us very hungry! We went to a buffet-style restaurant for the first time since we have been in Argentina and got to sample a variety of tradition flavors that are common to the locals. The best part was the multiple flavors of the helado (ice cream) that we got to feast on. After lunch, we got to take a short nap and then we were off to the Estadio Unico, where we watched a local match-up between the rivals, Estudiantes and River Plate. The game ended in a tie, but it was a great atmosphere and was an unforgettable experience! The fans were eccentric! They spent the majority of the time singing chants and screaming at each other. We couldn't believe how passionate the fans were after every single call that was made by the referee. We even had to wait for the rival fans to leave the stadium before we could exit because the policia (the police) were afraid of fights. After making our way safely to our bus, we arrived at Treinta Gringos where we enjoyed chicken, steak and potatoes, not to mention the amazing helado, once again, for dessert!! Since it was our last night here, we brought the celebration back to our hotel and gathered with our tour guides and local coaches. It was one of our tour guides' birthday so we sang to him and presented all the coaches and guides with Memphis gear. In turn, they had a little surprise for us as well. One of them had created a slideshow of pictures from the trip. Both the Memphis coaches/staff and the Argentinean coaches gave speeches and took pictures of our last night. The coaches from Argentina voted Emiko Schwab the player of the week for our team and presented her with an Estudiantes banner. GOOOOOOOOOOO EMI!!!!!!!!!! Everyone is excited to spend the day shopping tomorrow but it will be bittersweet when we get on the plane to come back to Memphis. We have had an amazing time here in Argentina and we are all so grateful for this experience. We had such great memories here that we are all sad to leave. If it was up to us, we would stay til next season starts, but after our trip to the museum today, we are all anxious to get back to the classroom!
March 8, 2008
Day Six from the Journal of the University of Memphis Women's Soccer Team's trip to Argentina By: Ducky Shute, Anna Laskarzewska and Tarah Kerr
After a fun night out with the girls, we woke up to a late breakfast. Luckily the sun was out and shining bright in the beautiful city of Mar del Plata. We boarded the bus and headed straight to the beach for a fun-filled day. The beaches were packed with many of the locals. Some of the girls laid out while others braved the freezing cold water. People on the beach played soccer on makeshift fields and vendors sold bracelets, earrings, and other little trinkets. Although we were reluctant to leave the beach after five hours, we packed up our stuff and started on the long trip back to La Plata. Considering we have been eating high quality meals three times a day, we were starving by the time we left the beach after not eating for so long. We stopped at a gas station, bought ham and cheese sandwiches and settled in on the bus, preparing for the ride ahead. Most of us slept and some watched movies; all of us were just trying to pass the time as best as possible. After a few hours, we stopped at a store on the side of the road for a bathroom break and snacks. All of the girls were anxious to get back and shower because we felt dirty with the salt water in our hair and the stickiness of the sunscreen on our skin. Despite the use of sunscreen, many of the girls are now red as lobsters with splotches and distinct tan lines. We took quick showers and reconvened in the lobby for dinner at the hotel. We ate all kinds of delicious empanadas: corn, ham and cheese, and beef. Wiped out from our long day soaking in the sun, we all were ready to go to bed early and prepare ourselves for an intense day watching two great games tomorrow.
March 7, 2008
Day Five from the Journal of the University of Memphis Women's Soccer Team's trip to Argentina By: Roma Rozanska
Hola from Argentina! Our morning started off very early today with breakfast at 6:00 a.m., leading to an early departure to Mar del Plata. While everyone was extremely tired getting on the bus we could barely contain our excitement about finally going to the beach. As soon as we got on the bus everyone fell asleep as soon as they hit their seats. As soon as they started dreaming about the beach and how they could feel the hot sun beating down on their pale skin it soon became a reality. Forty-five minutes into our adventure the bus broke down in the middle of nowhere with a pasture full of cows for our eyes to gaze at. Most people tried to sleep while we waited for another bus but once their clothes started to slowly stick to them it became a sauna. Everyone stayed positive, kept their eye on the prize, and just soaked up the experience. We finally switched buses actually we upgraded to a luxurious double-decker bus. Our six hour voyage continued smoothly as we eventually made it to Mar Del Plata. As soon as we arrived we checked into the hotel where we ran into another dilemma. Can anyone say, "Who turned out the lights?" This was quickly resolved as C-bass came to our rescue and discovered that the key to our rooms not only opened our doors but magically turned on our lights too! We dropped our stuff off and got ready for the beach. Everyone was starving so we decided to dine at a fabulous restaurant overlooking the beautiful beach. Although it was rainy and cloudy outside we still enjoyed the spectacular view and the delectable food. After our relaxing lunch we anxiously walked down the steps to the beach and everyone immediately started taking pictures. Even though it was rainy and cold we all stripped down into our bathing suites and sprinted into the ice cold water. After a few minutes of freezing to death our bodies became numb as we were continually drilled with huge waves. It was not the nicest day but we still had an amazing time together. After the beach we went back to our hotel where we took a much needed hot shower and got dressed to go shopping. We shopped around for a couple of hours and then proceeded back to the hotel to change for dinner with our bodyguard leading the way. Everyone excitedly dressed up as we decided to finally not wear just plain old jeans and a tee to dinner. We had dinner at a place called "Mr.Jones" where we feasted on pasta and salmon and listened to an array of different music. While we hit a few bumps along they way today, we actually could not of asked for a better day. Adios from Argentina!
March 6, 2008
Day Four from the Journal of the University of Memphis Women's Soccer Team's trip to Argentina By: Laura Laufenberg
As we fall into our beds exhausted from another long day, we fall asleep with a smile, satisfied with another adventurous day. The day started off early, 7 a.m. to be exact, with another glorious breakfast followed by an exciting tour to Buenos Aires. We traveled on our double-decker bus towards the city, and an hour later we arrived. We picked up our tour guide and started the journey. As we ventured through the historical city we desperately snapped photos of the many landmarks and attractions. There was so much to see! Stepping into a whole other world, we visited the Boca Juniors Stadium and museum. Talk about history! The museum was indescribable--full of memorabilia, trophies, photos, stories, and pretty much anything else you could think of having to do with the Boca Juniors soccer club. By this time, we had worked up quite an appetite, so we stopped into a local restaurant to grab some lunch. Now we hate to go on and on about food, but wow...talk about some amazing food! They present the food in such a way that makes you just want to take a picture of it! After the meal we got our game faces on. This time we headed to a perfect pitch to play San Lorenzo. Caught up in the excitement, we came out on our heels, but we got ourselves together and we took it to them in the second half, finishing out the game with a 2-0 win. The locals and other players at the complex were friendly snapping photos and trading t-shirts with us. We couldn't stay long after the game though, because some of the girls were headed back to the Boca Juniors stadium to watch a professional match while others returned to the hotel for a relaxing evening out on the town. Those choosing to go back to the hotel enjoyed an entertaining evening at a casual restaurant laughing and socializing. Those who went to the professional match, between Boca Juniors and Atlas, had the chance to watch and experience soccer in an atmosphere we as Americans have never known. After devouring hot dogs and cokes once we were in the stadium, we were quick to buy Boca Juniors t-shirts in order to fit in with the other thousands of fans cheering for the home team! The game ended with an exciting 3-0 victory for Boca Juniors, and we headed back to La Plata to join the others in preparing ourselves for the beach tomorrow. 6 am will come so early...
March 5, 2008
Day Three from the Journal of the University of Memphis Women's Soccer Team's trip to Argentina By: Katie Sabet, Lia Fannin, Kelsey Bakker, and Ashley Berra
The day began with another amazing breakfast provided by the hotel. It was complete with pastries, fruit, drinkable yogurt, and other delectable sweets. Following our meal, we all enjoyed a long siesta before our jog and stretch in a beautiful park near the zoo. We even got to sneak a peak at a local boy's soccer team while at the park. Our lunch was the best yet consisting of mashed potatoes and pork steaks topped with a wine drizzle. The other option was spinach ravioli doused in a tomato sauce. The meal was then topped off with a refreshing fruit salad. We were satisfied to say the least!
For our second match we had the opportunity to play the best team in Argentina, Boca Jrs. With nine World Cup players on their squad, we knew that we had to bring our full focus and effort to the game. When we arrived, we were excited to get to play on grass, but found that there was more mud than grass on the field. It wasn't exactly the "field of dreams," but this didn't phase us from playing our hearts out. Unfortunately the outcome wasn't what we were hoping for with a 3-1 loss, but we could look past our disappointment because of a once in a lifetime experience. The next step was to hit the showers and scrub off all the mud!
We then were off to dinner at another hand-picked restaurant by our guide, Sergio. We were served surprisingly colossal platters off french fries to begin with. This was something we didn't expect to eat in Argentina, but it was definitely appreciated by all of us. The waiters then brought out large, juicy slabs of steak for us to feast on. As soon as the meat hit the table, everyone claimed their share. Dessert, of course followed, with a choice of flan or fruit salad. Flan turned out to be a sweet and scrumptious treat, and the fruit was equally delicious. Before we left the restaurant, we joined our guides in celebrating the Los Estudiantes victory, which we had been watching on the television. We then caught a ride on the bus back to the hotel and made our way to our rooms. We need to get some rest for another exciting day! Hasta luego amigos!
March 4, 2008
Day Two from the Journal of the University of Memphis Women's Soccer Team's trip to Argentina. By: Maggie Leone, Vendula Strnadova, and Krista Turner
Hola!! We awoke this morning and feasted on a delicious Argentinean breakfast, complete with an array of breads, fruit, ham and cheese, croissants, cake and pie! Upon completion of our meal, we embarked on our journey through the city of La Plata. If you think you have seen tourists, think again! Our tour was interrupted by the continuous snapshots we all took. On our tour, we passed a multitude of shops and markets, until we came upon the governor's house, city hall, and the Cathedral. In front of the Cathedral stood a mosaic masterpiece; marking the center of La Plata. From there, we continued into the Cathedral where we observed the stain glass windows, statues, and the magnificent architecture of the church. We were so famished by our walk that we stopped in a quaint Irish Pub for lunch. Here, we had the traditional assortment of breads, a delicious pasta concoction, and chicken with a side of vegetables. We enjoyed our time in the city so much, that we lost track of time and had to rush back to the Benevento Hotel in order to arrive at our game on time. We arrived at the Club Estudiantes Complex and noticed they had numerous soccer fields, a gigantic swimming pool and picnic area all enclosed in a park-like atmosphere. Due to the rain, we played on a turf-style field, which did not allow us to wear our regular soccer cleats, so we had to borrow shoes! Chaos struck the team when none of the shoes fit us! However, we endured a hard fought game although we had to adapt to many unusually circumstances, ranging from unusual weather to an unfamiliar field. Nevertheless, we had many fans, which consisted of our tour guides and a team of 10-year-old Argentinean boys, which allowed us to come out victorious with a 4-0 win. After the game, a party erupted on the bus, which we shared with out former opponents, the Estudiantes. The dancing and singing continued until we arrived at the Benevento once again. From here, we had delicious pizza at Trattoria, which we followed up with a visit to the local ice cream parlor. The walk back to the hotel was much needed due to the double-scooped dessert we all ate! After experiencing many new things, we learned: Don't pet the dogs, be careful of the raging traffic, and adapt to new environments! Buenos Noches!!
March 3, 2008
Day One from the Journal of the University of Memphis Women's Soccer Team's trip to Argentina: By, Elise Kuhar-Pitters
We finally arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina after a grueling 12 hour trip that began Sunday afternoon and ended today, Monday, at 10 a.m. After collecting our bags and going through customs, we met our local coaches and guides and embarked on an hour and a half bus ride from Buenos Aires to our hotel in La Plata. Our hotel, Benevento, is very cozy with spacious rooms accommodating up to four beds and balconies that overlook the streets of La Plata and various other amenities. After arriving at our hotel we ate our first traditional Argentinean dish which consisted of chicken and potato pie. When we finished we had some time to rest before our first training. Taking the bus, also known as El Zorro, we rode to La Rambas, which is an indoor turf facility, because it was raining outside. We had the opportunity to train with some local professional coaches who were eager to share their training style with us. We started with some passing patterns, and then moved to speed and agility. Small sided scrimmages followed at the end and we had a friendly scrimmage against the coaches, and of course we won! Dinner tonight was amazing. We went to a fancy restaurant and experienced delicious Argentinean cuisine. We had pasta and steak and had the opportunity to enjoy a bowl of dulce de leche (caramel ice cream). Now we are back at the hotel and about to go to sleep because tomorrow is game day vs Estudiantes. Buenas Noches! Hasta Manana!