Corinne Ziccardi's Munich and Prague Experience
Note: This story will appear in the September issue of the Sho'men Club Newsletter. To become a member of the Sho'men Club, click here.
Corinne Ziccardi, a rising senior on the women's lacrosse team, wrote about her experience in Munich, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic as Ziccardi and four other players and women's lacrosse head coach Julika Blankenship traveled to Europe for 10 days in June. Joining Ziccardi was recent graduate Kalli Parrish and rising juniors Meredith Callis, Carly Eisenbrandt and Kathleen Maleski. Here is her experience.
From June 9-18, I got the pleasure of playing with Meredith Callis, Kathleen Maleski, Carly Eisenbrandt, Kalli Parrish and a handful of other girls from the East coast under the wonderful coaching of our very own Julika Blankenship. Not only did I get the chance to play with different girls from other colleges but also we got the chance to play in Prague, Czech Republic! We went with a group called American International Sports Teams (AIST) who put together a team of girls based on statistics and performance. They put together an entire itinerary for us while we were in Europe.
We traveled with the men's lacrosse team and women's basketball team that AIST put together. We landed in Munich, Germany on Saturday June 9th. We were picked up by a luxurious Mercedes coach bus (everything in Germany was either BMW or Mercedes, even cabs!) and taken to Olympia Park, which is where the 1972 Summer Olympics were held.
For our second day in Munich we took a bike tour of the city, which was so much fun! It was really amazing to see how different European architecture is compared to our own.
On our third and final day in Munich we stopped by the Dachau Concentration Camp, the biggest concentration camp in Germany. This museum was very eye opening and we were able to learn a lot just from walking around the camp. After Dachau we were on the road to Prague, which was about a four-hour bus ride.
Our first night in Prague we took it easy. We went downtown and walked around to get a feel of the city before we went out on our own. Prague is absolutely gorgeous. I fell in love with the city right away. The architecture is so detailed and you really get a feeling as to how old the city really is. Prague is one of the only cities in Europe to be untouched during World War II so all of the buildings are the original foundations. Our second day in Prague we took a tour of the city. We were able to see the Prague Castle and Cathedral, the Charles Bridge, and the Astronomical Clock, along with many other beautiful sites. After our tour the team had its first exhibition game. We played Prague Sports, which is a club team from Prague and beat them by two. It took our team a little while to get adjusted to the way other people play but we eventually got the hang of it. With no subs and almost full games, we were able to adjust well. Carly Eisenbrandt was playing low D and I was running midfield, which is quite different from what most people are used to seeing us play, but it was a lot of fun!
On Thursday the 14th, our third day in Prague, the tournament started. We were playing in two different tournaments; the first game we played was for the 7 v 7 tournament. We played a team from Japan, who was super fast. We have never played a team that had that many quick players, it was hard to keep up with them but we beat them by a good amount. We played one more 7 v 7 game, and America came out on top. In the full game we played another team from Japan with another America win. That night the Prague Sports association put together a boat cruise for all of the teams participating in the tournament, women's lacrosse and men's lacrosse teams. We were able to meet so many different people from this trip, from other American teams to the Manchester, England men's club team. It was a lot of fun to get to hang out and meet all of these people who may live on the other side of the world, but still have so much in common with us.
Saturday we were up early again for another 7 v 7 game. We played another club team from Czech and came out on top! After that game we played our last full game against the Czech National Team! This was the toughest game we played in during the entire tournament. We were down by four or five at half and came back to win by two! We had our last 7 v 7 game on Sunday against Prague Sports and brought another win for America! After our game they had the closing ceremonies for the tournament. We won the 7 v 7 tournament and ended up winning the Prague Cup because of our big win against the Czech National Team. We were rewarded with plaques, a large trophy and champagne! Sunday night we had our last dinner together with the AIST men's team and women's basketball team. We ate at a place similar to Medieval Times; it was very entertaining!
On Monday morning the 18th we packed up and headed to the Prague airport for our long journey home. The trip to Munich and Prague was the experience of a lifetime. I would never have had the opportunity to do anything like this again. I was able to explore two beautiful cities, play against girls who didn't know a lick of English, and meet a bunch of wonderful people. I am so grateful to be able to experience something like this and especially grateful to be able to have four of my teammates and my coach along for the exciting ride!