BUENOS AIRES -
Towards the end of May, members of Penn's field hockey program traveled to Argentina for a ten-day sojourn to practice and compete against some of the country's top club teams. The squad provided udates throughout their trip.
Wednesday, May 28
We just finished up our last game of the trip and we played on the nicest field we have seen here in Argentina. Unfortunately we lost the game, 4-1. The other team wasn’t feeling too well after the game, but also so nice when we went to our third half with them. Most of the team members spoke English and we were able to talk about common interests in music and movies. It was also interesting to see what girls our age are studying in school.
Overall the team played a great four games here in Buenos Aires. We had a chance to experience playing against a different style of play which was very fast-paced and focused heavily on skill. Last night we went to a tango show. We had a wonderful dinner before the performance. The steak was delicious! Then the show started and we were impressed with the dancing and the singing and the flashy outfits.
On our final day we had our second practice with Pablo, the national team coach, and today we worked on defense. Although we were very tired, we learned a lot and felt great afterward. Now we are going to do some last minute shopping in the Palermo neighborhood, and then off to the airport.
Sarah Warner, Kelsey Tahan, Katie Moran
Tuesday, May 27
Today we had our third game of the trip and much to our surprise we played on grass! That is something we rarely, if ever, do back home. The game was very much different from the others we have played, and unfortunately we lost, 2-1. After the game we had another social with the opposing team. As usual they were very friendly and supportive of us.
After the game and the social, we went straight to the market which was amazing. The market area wrapped all the way around a whole park. There were hundreds of different booths that sold jewelry, leather, clothing and other items local to Argentina.
After we saw everything the market had to offer, we were able to split up into smaller groups and explore the city a bit more. It gave people the chance to see areas of the city that a larger group can’t and for us to eat wherever we wanted. Expect updates on who went where in the next blog entry.
Monday, May 26
On Saturday we went to the Santa Susana Ranch. We were greeted with empanadas, were served lots of meat and chicken, and were entertained with music and a tango show. Some of us even got to dance with real gauchos! Then, we went outside and watched them perform tricks on their horses. It was so neat! They were riding at full speed on the horses and were able to put a pencil through a tiny hoop! We even got to ride the horses ourselves which some of us enjoyed, and some certainly did not! It was a little chilly on the ranch, and unfortunately it was not exactly bronzing weather since it is fall in Argentina right now. But the day was a lot of fun.
The night before, we played at the Provincia Bank Club and we notched our first win in Argentina! We played really well together, netting four goals in a 4-2 win. Pronvicia was a very skilled team which made it a great match to watch (and win!) and extremely competitive.
This trip has been such an amazing experience. We have learned so much about the culture down here as well as how they play field hockey. The best part is that we have only reached the halfway point of our trip!
Katie Burke and Katie Rose
Sunday, May 25th -
Greetings again from Argentina!
Our second day here in Argentina was full of field hockey. In the morning we trained with Pablo, one of the Argentine Women´s national field hockey coach. We loved the fact that the training was only an hour and a half and we only had one water break. We learned a tremendous amount! Right after practice we went on a tour of Buenos Aires and stopped at a cemetery and the Womens Bridge. I loved how the Womens Bridge looked a little like a sail boat with wires coming down for the sail.
Thursday night we had our first game in Argentina. The turf here is very different from the one on Franklin Field - it is actually covered in sand. Maria, our tour guide, told us that here in Argentina field hockey games actually have three halves. The last half is a chance for the two teams to socialize and eat really good food. Cuil Mas is a team within the top level/division. Argentina has three conference levels: A,B, and C. Even though this was our first game together in over a month, we stepped up to the challenge and played really well as a team. We were able to quickly adjust to the style of play of the other team. With strong communication,
good defense, and speed, we were able to capitalize on the other team’s mistakes. Although we lost the game, it was a great experience to play against a new style of field hockey and continue to build upon the skills that we had developed during spring season.
The third half was a great experience to interact with the other team. We got to put our Penn Spanish skills to use!
We had Friday morning and afternoon off, so we our first chance to really walk around and explore the city. We went to the famous pedestrian shopping street. Argentina is known for their leather goods!
Rachel Eng, Nina Ferrier and Alanna Butera
Thursday, May 22-
Buenos Dias from Argentina!
After quite a long journey we finally made it to the luscious Castelar Hotel and Spa. Though tired and worn out from the travel, we were eager to get acquainted with the city as soon as we arrived. Our lovely tour guide and manager, Maria (with a rolled "r"), was very helpful in introducing us to Buenos Aires.
After only being in Argentina for six hours, we had our first practice in torrential rain, which turned out great considering most of us had not had a chance to shower! Later that night, we went to the swanky and hip Gaucho restaurant on the port of Buenos Aires. We enjoyed ensalada (salad), pollo (chicken), ravioli, and a traditional Argentinean dessert of jam and cheese.
This morning, on our second day here in Argentina, we were fortunate enough to have a practice run by the Palo, a highly regarded coach and player for Argentina’s national program. Following that, we went on a tour of the city where we had a chance to stop and see the famous cemetery in Buenos Aires where the world renowned Evita Peron is buried in a mausoleum.
Tonight we look forward to playing a team from one of the best clubs in Buenos Aires. Following that we will be having a meet and greet with the team. You will hear more from some of our fellow teammates later on in the week!
Meredith Moran, C'09 and Margaretha Ehret, C'09