June 13, 2013
Follow Washington Women's Soccer in Italy.
Sunday, June 16 - Wednesday, June 26
SEATTLE -- While the Washington women's soccer team finishes up its finals this week, the potential trip of a lifetime is just on the horizon. The team will depart Sunday night and after a layover in New York, arrive in Italy early Tuesday morning.
The foreign tour will give the Dawgs a chance to play top European competition, while traveling the historic country's northern region. The Huskies will play three friendlies against Italian clubs, while visiting some of the ancient landmarks and beautiful countryside of Milan, Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terra, Venice, Lake Como and San Marino.
"The goal of the trip is really threefold," said head coach Lesle Gallimore. "We want the team to experience a new culture from a historical, geographical, and cultural standpoint. We also want them to see a new soccer culture because it truly is the world's game. Finally, we want to use this time to wrap up a great year, but also as a springboard to next season. This time in a foreign country together will strengthen the team bond and really will be a something they never forget."
Gallimore and her staff have been planning the trip for months, including several fundraisers that the players have been involved in. The Dawgs will face Arenzano Calcio Femminile, Real Meda Femminile and FCF Como 2000 in the three friendlies, but will also have a chance to train at some of Italy's top venues and meet local Italian coaches.
The foreign tours are allowed every four years by NCAA rules with women's soccer taking advantage just four years after a tour in Brazil. The outcome is a unique experience of team bonding in a foreign country that provides an educational aspect, while also allowing the team to prepare for the season against top competition from a soccer-loving nation.
The Dawgs will take the current 22 players on the roster, along with graduated senior Kelsea Brajkovich who was not able to make the Brazil trip as a freshman. She will not play in the matches due to knee injuries. The incoming UW freshman are not allowed to make the trip according to NCAA rules.
Stay tuned to gohuskies.com for daily updates from Italy that will include photos, videos and blogs from the players. Also, be sure to like Washington women's soccer on facebook for access to photo albums and follow @UW_WSoccer on twitter and search #dawgsabroad for updates from the trip.