West Virginia excited to play games in Madrid, Barcelona during spring break
Published: Friday, March 23, 2012
Updated: Friday, March 23, 2012 10:03
While many students will be heading to various destinations to enjoy spring break, the West Virginia women’s soccer team will be taking an overseas trip to Spain.
The Mountaineers will leave Saturday and will be returning April 1.
They will split their time spent in Spain between both Madrid and Barcelona.
"I’m excited," said West Virginia head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. "It’s always a great opportunity for the girls to develop soccer-wise, culturally, just everything. We need to move on because we’ve lost a lot of great seniors."
This will be the fourth time the program has made an international trip. It is not just an opportunity to improve culturally and as a soccer player, but also a chance for a team to build chemistry.
"Trips like this are definitely priceless," Izzo-Brown said. "It’s an opportunity for us to develop a team, develop chemistry and for the girls to have life experiences together. And I think that’s what really bonds teams, and I’m looking forward to it."
As far as balancing soccer and leisure activities in Spain, Izzo-Brown is looking forward to the entire experience.
"Everybody is excited," she said. "I know I am taking away their spring break, so I have to try to balance that out. Make sure we’re having some fun but also getting some work done."
The team will be attending a professional game, as well as touring Real Madrid’s Bernebeu Stadium and FC Barcelona’s Nou Camp Stadium.
"You got to remember that everyone is human, and there are lots of ways to educate and lots of ways to get better," Izzo-Brown said. "As a coach, you don’t want to be too extreme on one or the other side because it is the offseason. But we’re here to get better culturally and to get better soccer wise."
Most importantly, the Mountaineers will play three games against local club teams and participate in two training sessions.
Playing a different style of soccer could be something Izzo-Brown and the team can use to their advantage, considering they will be entering a new conference and face unfamiliar foes next season.
"I want to make sure that they are getting a life experience. But also I want to make sure that the soccer experience is something that builds some confidence for what we want to do in the Big 12 (Conference)," Izzo-Brown said. "Every team plays a different style. And when we go over there, it’s important for us to see and develop and to take something away from the Spanish soccer style."