Penn State Field
Hockey Holland Trip: Day Seven
Day Seven in Holland as told by Field Hockey
student-athletes Jenny Rizzo, Colleen Conway and Mary Nell Smith
May 14, 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 7 & 8, May
The Hague - Harleem
sophomore, Franklin Lakes, N.J., and Jenny Rizzo, sophomore, Hershey, Pa.
"Greetings from your PSU goalkeepers! On Friday night we played against the
HDM ladies, who are The Hague's hometown team. We knew coming into the match
that they would be a tough opponent because they are in the top league and they
practice every day as a cohesive unit. However, we psyched ourselves up really
well for the game by playing old school sing-alongs on the bus ride over -- the
parents on the bus especially loved hearing Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel!"
Colleen: "This was a homecoming of sorts. I had already been
to HDM for a tournament last year, so it was awesome getting to play against
some of the same girls at this wonderful venue."
Jenny: "HDM was one of the best clubs we've seen so far.
Their clubhouse is beautiful and they had five top quality pitches for their
players. The game itself was the toughest any of us have ever played in -- the
goalkeepers really didn't get a break the whole game."
Colleen: "Jenny started the first half and had some of the
nicest goalkeeping I have ever seen!"
Jenny: "Colleen went in during the second half and held them
off with a great stick save and multiple crotch shots. Good thing she was
wearing her pelvic protector! Even
though we lost in an incredibly fast-paced game, we loved all the action we
saw. It gave us ample opportunity to practice and learn from some of the best
players in the world."
Colleen & Jenny: "After the game, we ate dinner in the
clubhouse and socialized with the other team. The salad and yogurt they served
were good, but really different than anything we have had in the United States.
The best part of the whole night, though, was when the other goalkeeper came up
to us after dinner and gave us her glove and a playing jersey! We gave her one
of our practice jerseys in return, and each keeper walked away with a nice
souvenir to cap off a great night."
Penn State goalies
Colleen Conway (left) and Jenny Rizzo (right) with their HDM counterpart.
Mary Nell Smith, sophomore, Dauphin, Pa.
"Before I recap our Saturday morning in Den Hauge all I can say is, 'Make the
trip!' Waking up early in Holland has been a breeze -- and trust me, at home
you can catch me in bed until 1 or 2 p.m. Around every corner is something my
teammates and I have never experienced before. For example, with the language
barrier and the diverse and different food choices, we have been taken out of
our comfort zones. It has been nothing but an astounding learning experience. I
would highly recommend to anyone I meet or to anyone who reads this that you
get out and see something new - be it in Holland or down the straat.
"On our first brisk morning in Den Hague, Netherlands, I
awoke to the sound of horseshoes on brick. A little bit of a culture shock... am
I right? The street below my window was bustling, so I figured I might as well
start my day too. Together as a team we started off with now our 'normal' Dutch
breakfast tradition. Everyone meets in the breakfast room to enjoy an
assortment of meats, cheeses, eggs, fruit and sprinkles. Yes, sprinkles! Here
in Holland hagelslag - also known as sprinkles -- are found literally
everywhere. You could probably find hagelslag in a church if you truly looked
hard enough. The breakfast way to eat hagelslag, taught to me by none other
than my roommate Jenny Rizzo, is to butter wheat bread and place the pure
fruit, milk or dark chocolate sprinkles on top and just eat away. Sounds very
different from what we would eat at home. I can't seem to wrap my head around
it yet, but Jenny embracing culture like she does, is in love with it.
"The next adventure at breakfast laid within an orange
juicer. Together of course, Jenny and I tackled yet a new experience. We had to
cut around six oranges in half and place them on the juicer, just like we
watched the man before us do. When we tried to juice the oranges it didn't work
as well as it did for him. A nice woman promptly came up and told us there was
a pedal we hadn't been pushing that would make the machine work. After we
pushed that pedal there was no stopping us. In no time we had a glass of orange
juice that the whole team wanted to sample. It was gone quicker than it was
made, but it was undoubtably the best O.J. I have ever tasted.
"Saturday was the first time we actually had to put on our
heavy clothes. We have been blessed with beautiful weather ... until today. A
group of us walked around Den Hauge looking for souvenirs and gelato. At home I
am a fan of hard ice cream, but here in Holland the gelato is amazing. I so far
have tried flavors like cookie, Kinder bar (a Dutch candy here), stroopwafel,
Oreo and cinnamon. With one taste of this cinnamon gelato all I could think
about was Christmas. The Dutch have managed to put an entire holiday season
into one flavor of gelato. Like a lot of the foods here, it is to die for!
"Later in the day, we took a bus to Haarlem, a city just as
or even more beautiful as the ones we had already seen. We didn't have much
time, but a few of us ate at Dessert Bar, where they say life is sweet but they
are sweeter. As our pre-game meal - we play at nearby Bloemendaal Saturday
night - we ordered eggs with ham, bacon, tomatoes, and bread underneath. Not
quite something I would eat at home, but here it was better than I could have
ever imagined. Next stop: Bloemendaal, to face one of the Holland's top teams!"
in Friday night's game (clockwise, from upper left): Shay Cannon, goalie Jenny
Rizzo (5) and associate head coach Lisa Love with Mary Nell Smith.
The Nittany Lions
enter the gates of the HDM field hockey club for their game Friday night in The
shopping in Haarlam on Saturday morning (left to right): Doug and Char
Morett-Curtiss; Skyler Fretz and Shay Cannon; and Stuart Smith and Lisa Love.
along the canals of Harleem are (left to right): Emily Klingler, Jenny Rizzo,
Lauren McNally, Katie Dembrowski and Cori Conway.