The North Dakota State soccer team has been out of the United States from March 12-20, touring Italy and San Marino. The Bison practiced, competed, learned how to make pizza and ate lots of gelato throughout their foreign trip.
NDSU freshman forward Britney Monteon was kind enough to share her and the team’s experiences with a daily blog post to NDSU’s athletic website. Some of the highlights follow:
At 2:30 p.m. on March 13 the Bison arrived in Milan, Italy, and “you could imagine all of us girls were pretty tired. With the overnight flight and time change, good attitudes, in-flight movies and neck pillows were crucial,” Monteon wrote in her first blog post of the trip.
The green and gold ate at a bakery named “Paul” that is famous for its sandwiches. After that a tour guide led the Bison around Milan, and team experienced homemade gelato.
Day two started out with a coach from Inter Milan (a professional Italian football club), Giuseppe Baresi training the Bison.
“We focused on movement off the ball,” Monteon wrote. “The setting of the field was absolutely beautiful – mountains surrounding the field and colorful villas all around.”
Day three consisted of a little more travel than expected for the team.
“We had about a four hour bus ride to our destination in Venice,” Monteon wrote. “(It) ended up being about a six hour drive because of traffic.”
Once the crew arrived in Venice, they took a water taxi ride through the Grand Canal and a guided tour of the city.
Day four was yet another amazing day for Monteon and her team. The team experienced a castle in San Marino, and after that took a pizza making class.
“We had a man named Carmen walk us through the basics of pizza making, and then basically put us to work making our own pizzas,” Monteon wrote.
After that and a little relaxation the Bison competed in its first game of the trip against USD San Zaccaria and won 3-2.
“The game went well overall,” Monteon wrote. “We cane out with the result we wanted, but there’s always something to take from games, no matter whom we play, or where we play.”
Day five consisted of a bus ride to Pisa, Italy, as the team learned the history behind the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
“The leaning tower is actually the bell tower of the cathedral,” Monteon wrote. “Along with the tour, we had free time to roam the city, and we went around to the street vendors to barter, ate lunch and relaxed on the grass in front of the baptistery across from the cathedral.”
Later that day the Bison laced the cleats up, and took on Castelfranco Clacio, which is an Italian associate football club from Castelfranco Emilia, Emilia-Romagna. NDSU took care of business winning 5-2.
“They were a pretty skilled team,” Monteon wrote. “Most players had no problem taking shots from wherever they were, which created chances for them and made the game interesting.”
Day six the team traveled to Florence, which is where Monteon wrote that “a lot os us made some bigger purchases” in this city because of all the great leather goods.
And the final day of the trip, day seven, the team took an early morning train ride to Cinque Terre, Italy, which is a string of older seaside villages. After that the Bison experienced a soccer match against Novara and Bari, a Series B match.
Then the team headed back to Milan for one final dinner.
The Bison traveled about 10,000 miles through the air, about 1,100 on four-wheels and walked near 52 miles.
“We are very thankful for this trip, and had an amazing time,” Monteon wrote in her final blog post of the trip.