Penn State women's field hockey team 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, from bike tours and canal
cruises and to traditional post-game meals with their hosts.
Days 1 & 2, May 7-8:
Philadelphia - Amsterdam - Zwolle - Hattem
Cassie Kline, sophomore, Millersville, Pa.
"Hey everyone! This is Cassie Kline and as I writing this it is exactly noon on Sunday in sunny Zwolle, Netherlands. It is a fantastic day to play some field hockey! Hard to believe, but my day actually began yesterday at my home near Lancaster, Pa. -- over 3,000 miles from where I am right now.
"The entire team, our coaching and support staff, plus several parents met on Saturday afternoon at the Philadelphia airport for the field hockey trip of a lifetime. We checked our bags and stood in a long line - longer than what we even see back on campus -- waiting to go through security. Once that mission was accomplished, we had an hour-and-a-half until we started boarding, so the team broke up to grab some dinner. Some team members and I went to Chickie's & Pete's, where I got a grilled chicken salad before we took off for Holland.
"As we boarded the plane, I took my seat, which was closest to the aisle, and prepared myself for a long six-hour ride. Most of the team slept, listened to music and watched movies on the plane. We knew we needed to get some rest, since are scheduled to a play later his afternoon.
"We arrived at 2:45 a.m. American time -- which is 8:45 a.m. in the Netherlands, which meant no naps before the game. We got off the plane and went to the baggage claim to pick up our luggage. From there, we took a coach bus that delivered us to our hotel after a very scenic drive. When we arrived at the hotel, which is very gorgeous, we were met by the warm greetings of family of our teammate Aurelia Meyer, who lives in the Netherlands. After everyone dropped their bags off in their rooms, we sat down for lunch at the hotel and had tomato soup and sandwiches. We are all excited for our first game later today against a U16 boys team at Aurelia's hometown field hockey club."
Aurelia Meijer, sophomore, Hattem, The Netherlands
"What an exciting and memorable day Sunday has been! My Penn State field hockey family met my own family - my parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents -- as well as the close friends and neighbors who make up the Hattem Mixed Hockley Club. I am proud of them all.
"Since I was 10 years old, my family has lived in our house in Hattem, a small town not far from Zwolle. My parents' home is a very short walk to the HMHC field and clubhouse. Field hockey is the No. 1 sport in Holland, and clubs like ours are a central gathering place for training, competition and post-game celebrations enjoyed by players and supporters of all ages. It was great to show by Penn State friends and teammates this great hockey tradition.
"It's where I honed my skills for five years as a hockey player, from age 10 to 14. It is also where my father Xander, sister Sanderyn, and brothers Ijsbrand and Gilles still play today. And by today, with my brothers I mean Sunday! My Penn State team competed against the Hattem U16 team, which included Gilles, as well as a guest appearance by Ijsbrand. He's a tough player - I am so glad he didn't score.
"I have so many good memories of playing on that field, so it was great to have a chance to play there while representing Penn State. It was a chance for my teammates to absorb what hockey in The Netherlands is all about. Sometimes I tell the team that I miss my home, and I'm not sure they always understand. After my family hosted everyone for pre-game cakes and pies and juice and fruit- and herb-flavored water, they toured our house and nearby woods. Afterwards, so many of them told me, `Now we know what you mean!'
"It was a hard-fought game and although we lost, it meant a lot that several of my friends and club members came up to afterwards and said how impressed they were by my Penn State teammates and how we played just hours after flying here from the U.S.A. We gave our hosts T-shirts and pins. As is our Dutch custom, my club hosted my Penn State teammates for a big meal of pasta, salad, pastry (like our native soejes) and beverages - and lots of laughs and conversation. Our club is like Penn State...everyone is as close as family.
"My family really loves Penn State - and now, so does my club as well. And I know my teammates have a new appreciation for my hometown and country as well.
#PSUFH2Holland Snapshots - Day One