North Central soccer team to play in Europe
By rob wollenzien For Sun-Times Media March 15, 2011 5:38PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
This spring break, the NCC men’s soccer team will take a multi-purpose excursion years in the making.
The Cardinals leave March 17 for Europe, where they will play two games in Spain and one in Italy. They’ll also have time to explore historic sites throughout the two countries before heading home March 26.
When they’re not traversing Europe, the Cardinals figure to have their hands full on the soccer field.
“Two of the games will be against really good teams and the other one will be (against) a phenomenal team,” coach Matt Klosterman says. “We think this will be a huge growing experience for the guys in how they perceive the game.”
North Central’s first game — against Spain’s Hospitalet — will be its toughest, with many of the opposing amateur players near the talent level of the professional or semi-pro ranks. All three teams will feature players roughly the same ages as the Cardinals’ players.
On March 20, NCC gets a chance to see FC Barcelona’s match against Madrid Getase.
The trip also serves as a cultural experience.
“We’re trying to give them a wealth of experiences,” Klosterman says. “We’d like the guys to see some of the world they’ve never been to before.”
The Olympic Village in Barcelona and the Vatican Museum in Rome are among the sites the team will visit.
The Cardinals will be allowed 10 extra practices to prepare for their matches in Europe. Under typical circumstances, the NCAA allows Division III soccer teams 16 spring practice sessions.
“These 10 extra (practice) dates are the real advantage,” Klosterman says. “The games are the icing on the cake.”
Klosterman had sought to arrange a similar trip around 2008 but he and his team at the time decided to hold off on those plans once the recession hit.