Friday, June 16, 2006

Day 15: Day in Neubrandenburg

This morning the WNT had breakfast and packed into vans to make the 1.5 hour trip south to Neubrandenburg. As we had heard the previous day, this city was one that was a trading partner with Stralsund "back in the day" (they were both in the same hansel, as they called it).

The day started off with a training session at one of the gyms on the campus of the Elite Sports School, where later the team would face-off against Neubrandenburg, a 3rd Division team with many young players from the sports school.

After training, showering, and eating lunch, the WNT headed for a tour of the school. It started off with a brief introduction of the school and a question and answer session with the school's Director of Sports, English teacher, and Vice-Principal. Next they took us on a tour of the main building, including classrooms for art and science. The school emphasized that although their students were elite athletes, their education was also very important.

When the tour had been completed, the coaches decided to let the players have some nice relaxation time before the game. So the WNT boarded a boat for a laid-back tour of the Neubrandenburg lake. It was a nice sunny day, and everyone enjoyed having an hour or so to enjoy the fresh air before game preparation began.

As soon as the boat docked, the WNT headed back to the gym to get ready for their game. The stadium had been sold out, so they knew it would be important to get focused.

Sure enough, the stadium filled up with lots of locals, who brought their families, their drums, their trumpets and noisemakers!! It was a really festive atmosphere for what turned out to be a really exciting match.

Things started off well for the WNT, who took the lead in the beginning 5-0. During a time out in the first half, Coach Latulippe impressed on the players that it was time to keep the intensity and take care of the ball. By the end of the first half, the WNT was down one 12-13.

The second half was just as intense, but in the end the WNT couldn't put the ball in consistently, and the defense fell. The game ended with a final score of 25-20.


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