March 16, 2010
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -
The U of L field hockey team spent an eventful day in Buenos Aires before taking the field for its first spring game. It's freshman Natasha Leickly's turn to take over the Team Cardinal Spring Break - Argentina blog.
Today (Monday) was the day of our first match in Argentina! The day began with another delicious breakfast and practice in the beautiful Argentine weather. Our favorite tour guide, Iggy, brought his adorable Boston Terrier, Hektor, to practice. The team was entertained by his cuteness and spunk for awhile, especially when the little guy tried to join us in some of our drills and enthusiastically chased the ball all over the field.
The team spent the afternoon touring all over the city in our double-decker bus. Included in the tour was a stop at the world famous cemetary in Ricoleta where Eva Peron is buried. Eva was the wife of Argentine President Juan Peron. She was very loved by the people of Argentina but was overcome by cancer at the young age of 33. You may have seen the movie "EVITA!" which was about her historic life and where Eva was played by Madonna. If you haven't seen it, I strongly suggest it. We also stopped at the National Cathedral and Plaza de Mayo. Both of these places are Argentine National landmarks.
After our tour, we grabbed some dinner and headed off to the hockey field for our first match against the club team known as CASI. This club has over 30 teams in it. The team was very skilled and had women from ages 18-32 playing on it.
The game was very close until the very last seconds. Amber Thomas scored our first goal off a penalty corner early on. CASI managed to tie the score before halftime. They then followed their goal up with a second goal early in the second half.
The Cards fought through with determination and heart. In the very last seconds of the game, Heather Stevens gave a perfect ball across the circle and was tipped right into the cage by Tuli Lim. It was a great way to end the game and even though it was a tie, it certainly felt like a win.
In our post game debrief, our goalkeeper Erin Conrad
won the traditional player of the game socks for her perserverance in the cage and with her game changing saves. We were all very proud of her.
Afterward, we shook hands with the opponents and they gave us a post game beverage ...Coke Classic. (Not what our S&C trainer Jason would recommend, but we weren't complaining!) We gave CASI Louisville pins and a pennant...and some of us even traded shirts. The Argentine players were extremely friendly and knew English very well. They even gave us the names of some good places to shop! Unfortunately we couldn't talk for long because they had to go on a run even though it was already 10:30 at night.
Overall, Team Cardinal had a great day of hockey, history, culture and a lot of fun. We look forward to our next opponent, GEBA and an exciting day at a ranch with gauchos and horses! Stay tuned fellow Cardinals for more updates on our adventures in Argentina.