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Women’s Soccer Takes to European Fields

Published: March 11, 2010
Maddie Dugan ’13 is having just as much fun exploring “the floating city” as she is competing against nationally ranked European soccer teams.

“So far, my favorite has been Venice, Italy, mainly because of the sheer beauty of it,” said Dugan, who is posting updates about the experience on the UT Sports Blog . “Also, I feel like I could have walked through the floating city for days and still would've found different shops I didn't see before, different foods to try, or back alleyways to explore.”

Dugan and the rest of The University of Tampa Women’s Soccer team flew to Europe for spring break with head coach Gerry Lucey, a first time trip for program.

"This trip allows the team to compete against quality European teams, offering top notch technical skills and fundamentals," said Tom Kolbe, UT's sports information director. "It also enhances the student-athlete experience by providing an opportunity to witness European culture and history."

Aside from taking in the sights of Italy, Slovenia and Austria, the women are playing some challenging teams, including the Italian Division 2 national women’s team and the Slovenian national championship team which is a part of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Women's Champion League.

“Tuesday night our game went really well against the Slovenian six-year national champions, despite the 26 degree weather, snow and painfully over-pumped balls in the mountains of Slovenia,” Dugan blogged. “Finally, with about 10 minutes left in the second half, Luana Miessa hit a perfect shot over the keeper’s head from outside the 18-yard line. Though we ended the game with a tie score, our team really showed our ability to face adversity and continue to improve against formidable foreign opponents.”

Dugan said there are some differences between European play and American play, citing more drama on the European side and skilled ball handling. Teammate Brittan Spence ’12 noted that Europeans play a faster paced, more technical game.

Dugan, an entrepreneurship major, said the experience has given the team a boost of confidence and has shown her what a strong force the team can be. The trip has also brought the teammates closer together.

“One of the nicest things about this trip has been the team bonding experiences,” Dugan posted on her blog. “Though we might get frustrated with each other at times, I truly feel like all of us have become much closer with each other over the last few days.”

Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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