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Penn State Field Hockey Holland Trip: Day Four

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Penn State Field Hockey Holland Trip: Day Four

Day Two in Holland as told by Field Hockey student-athletes Moira Putsch, Kasey Moreno and Emilee Ehret

 

May 11, 2016

The Penn State women's field hockey team, under the direction of head coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss, has embarked on a nine-day, five-city exhibition tour of The Netherlands, playing five games against a variety of competition in the most renowned field hockey country in the world. Through the student-athletes' own words and pictures, the #PSUFH2Holland daily blog chronicles their adventures on and off the field.

Days 4 & 5, May 10-11

Laren - Zwolle - Utrecht

 

Moira Putsch, junior, Media, Pa., and Kasey Morano, Hammonton, N.J.

 

"Hey guys! Moira and Kasey here. Boy, do we have a lot to tell you! Tuesday afternoon, after a day in De Hoge Veluwe National Park, we headed to Laren for our second match of our tour of Holland. Add in an hour's drive, and we were worried we weren't going to have enough energy. (It helped that we all fell asleep on the bus.)

"But when we walked off the bus, saw the beautiful Laren two-story clubhouse and felt the energy and excitement coming from its five surrounding synthetic turf fields (used for field hockey only), we woke up and got amped for the game. We also learned that three of the three of the best field hockey players in the world -- Masha Palman and Naomi VannAs, Joyce Strombock - came from the Laren club. We were ready!

"The game against the Laren Girls U18 team started out really strong for us. We were connecting and passing better than we had been in a while, and it was definitely an improvement from the first game on Sunday, when we landed in Holland in the morning and played that evening. Gini Bramley started us out with a saaaaaa-WEEEEET goal on a pass from Kasey (who is writing this with Moira). Then Laren answered with a goal to tie it, 1-1. Carly Celkos stepped up on a corner and rocketed one into the back of the cage, followed by a goal from Laren that made it 2-2.

"We scored again when Aurelia Maijer, who is from Holland and was playing in front of several family members and friends, took the ball down the sideline -- and wearing a very determined look on her face - scored for a 3-2 lead. Laren again answered with a goal. Gini then put us ahead 4-3 when she scored with an incredible pop over the defender on a drive to the top left corner from the right side. It was nasty!

"The game was exciting and fast, with everyone on our team putting all the energy they had left out on the field. The double teams were dangerous and it felt really fun to be connecting like that. Kasey had a fire tip-off (Moira's words) of a shot from Carly on a corner. Talk about deception! The corners were on point. The match ended with a 6-4 victory, after both Aurelia and Laren added goals. The horn sounded and our head coach, Char Morett-Curtiss, had a big smile on her face. It was a good win and the first of our trip.

"We concluded the evening by sharing a meal in the clubhouse with the Laren team we had just played. The girls were so nice and very funny. We had a really great time conversing using a mixture of Dutch and English. It was also really interesting to hear all about the differences and similarities between our two lifestyles. We shared a delicious salad, noodles and a meat, veggie and tomato sauce concoction that was scrumptious. The bread is unreal. It's so good, I am taking a suitcase of it home. Our nutritionist, Kris Clark, would be so proud we are carb'ing it up!"

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Kasey Morano (left) and Moira Putsch (right) pose post-game with a member of the host Laren team.

Emilee Ehret, senior, Philadelphia, Pa.

"We started off Wednesday with a 90-minute bus trip from our first home base of Zwolle to the city of Utrecht. We all were fast asleep, but as soon as we arrived we immediately started roaming the city. We walked around and we all enjoyed a hustling and bustling city in Holland.

"We went to the Dom Tower after lunch and experienced a historic spot in the city of Utrecht. This tower stands very tall in the middle of the city and is part of two sections of a beautiful church that was partially destroyed several centuries ago. The two ends of the church remain, like bookends, while the middle is now a big courtyard.

"Climbing the 465 steps to the top was not easy. After 100 steps, we all were struggling. The steps in Holland are designed to be very steep. Throughout the tour of the bell tower, we stopped to listen to the tour guide describe each of the floors and their importance for the tower. One floor had seven large bells and the largest of the bells weighed more than two elephants combined. These bells are only rung twice a year on New Year's Eve and a national festival day. Only two people on the tour had the opportunity to ring the bells, and Emily Klingler and I were the chosen two!

"On the floor above that, we got to see the largest music box of its time, which was created in the 1700s. It rings a specific melody every year and only on one day of the year the music box does not play because it takes an entire day to change the melody for the following year. Finally, we walked 100 more steps to the very top. The very narrow staircase was tiring and a little scary. Still, it was a fabulous way to get to see an astonishing and amazing view of the city. It was worth every step.

"When we made it to the top, Moira Putsch yelled, 'I love Utrecht!' Seeing such a historic site and being with our entire team was a memory we won't forget. However, my feet were killing me at the end of the tour because we were going up and down so many steps. So, on the way back to the hotel, I decided to treat myself to a new pair of shoes to ease the pain!"

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Emilee Ehret had a ball ringing a big bell in Dom Tower.

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Emilee Ehret stands in front of the Don Tower, the tallest building in Utrecht, Holland.

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The Penn State team climbed 465 steps to the top of the Dom Tower and was still smiling.

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A panoramic view of Utrecht.

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After Penn State's 6-4 victory over Laren on Tuesday night, the two teams shared a traditional post-game meal in the Laren clubhouse. Reliving the game and getting to know their opponents in a relaxed and friendly fashion is a key part of the trip's learning experience.


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