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.
Holland Trip Recaps: Day One
Days 2 & 3, May 8-9
Hattem - Zwolle
Carly Celkos, senior, Berlin, N.J.
"Sunday night we played our first
match against a Dutch team that included the brother (Gilles) of my teammate,
Aurelia Meijer. We learned a lot of playing for the first time against the
Dutch, who are known for their quick passing and decision making.
"It seemed like everyone at the club
arrived riding their bikes with their field hockey sticks attached. It
was amazing to see the passion and love for hockey the people of Holland have.
Parents, grandparents, teenagers, and young children all came out to watch our
game and stayed to socialize afterwards. Hockey here is a big part of their
lifestyle for people of all generations. The people at the club were very
friendly. It was great getting to meet people our age in Holland and seeing how
much we have in common - we have similar tastes in things like music, clothing
"After the game in Sunday night we
had a little time to explore of Zwolle as a team. What really surprised us the
most was how clean the downtown of Zwolle was for being a city. There was a beautiful
moat also with little boats in the lake.
"One of the advantages of going away is
being able to have everyone on the team at the same place at the same time.
Other than practice and games, that doesn't happen a great deal back on campus.
Being able to really bond and be together off the field is special and I know
it will help with team-building in the future, all of us sharing this great
experience 24/7. We went to a cute little café in Zwolle, just a short walk
from our hotel. We all sat down and talked about our amazing first day. It was
a great way to end our day all together, just the 20 of us.
"On Monday morning, we all gathered after
breakfast for a team bike ride through Zwolle. We got to see the city close-up,
going past old cathedrals and riding on cute brick streets, all the while
joining hundreds of cyclists who riding to work and school. After a day off, on
Tuesday we have our second match of the tour, against the Laren Girls U18
State teammates (left to right) Jenny Rizzo, Katie Dembrowski, Brooke Birosik
and Carly Celkos prepare for a cycle ride in Holland.
Lisa Winters, sophomore, Hershey, Pa.
"After we finished our bike ride, we had
the rest of Monday as free time to explore the city of Zwolle. We walked toward
the center of the city, where teammate Brooke Birosik and I stopped at a small
cafe to get some sandwiches and lattes for lunch. The whole menu was in Dutch
and we only understood a few words, but we made our best guesses and ended up
with some pretty tasty meals.
"After filling our stomachs with some
food, we set out down the main shopping road. I recognized a couple of stores
that we have at home, like H&M, but most of the time we just looked in the
windows and tried to guess which stores we would like. The best part was that
whenever we started to get a little tired or wanted to get out of the sun for a
little bit, there was always a cafe around to grab some coffee or a snack and
sit down until we were ready to go again. I don't think a vanilla latte in the
United States will ever taste the same to me again after having some of the
most amazing ones I've ever had over here.
"It was a pretty hot day, so after a few
hours of walking around and shopping we all headed back to the hotel to chill
out on the porch and rehydrate a little bit. We stayed there until dinnertime,
when a whole bunch of us walked back into the city, planning on finding a restaurant
that had been recommended by our hotel staff. Even with the help of Google
Maps, we hadn't found the place after walking around awhile, so once we got
tired of looking we just sat down at the closest place. Nearly everyone in the
group wanted a burger, but apparently our 'refined' American love for burgers
was a bit confusing to our waiter; he was pretty confused about our exact
specifications for toppings and condiments and none of them came out exactly as
planned, but we all thought it was pretty funny and made it work.
"My sleep schedule is still pretty messed
up from the six-hour time difference, so at this point a few other teammates
and I decided to grab some ice cream and head back to the hotel. It's good to
have some time now to rest up for another fun day and our second game
of the Penn State student-athletes spent their leisure time in Zwolle dining
out and shopping.
Celkos and teammate Gina Bramley pose outside of Sassenpoort, one of the old
city gates in Zwolle, which is the capital city of 125,000 residents of the
province of Overjssel, Netherlands.
of the team's two cycling tours took its riders past a quintessential Holland
windmill on their way to the town of Kampen.