Yale Headed to Argentina for Spring Break

March 6, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale field hockey team is headed to Argentina. Continuing Yale's tradition of expanding horizons through international travel, the Bulldogs will spend their spring break in Buenos Aires. In addition to practicing and playing with local teams, the team will have the opportunity to experience a different culture, with activities ranging from community service at an orphanage to watching a soccer match featuring the legendary Boca Juniors. Team members will file regular updates from the trip that will be posted on yalebulldogs.com.

"The opportunity afforded our Yale field hockey team to travel to Argentina provides an education that you cannot encounter in the classroom or on the field in the United States," said head coach Pam Stuper. "The team will be involved in games and practices where they will immerse themselves in international field hockey. This will allow them to not only compete and grow in the game, but to develop international relationships, and even friendships, with the Argentines."

The team departs from New York's JFK Airport Friday afternoon and, after a connecting flight in Sao Paulo, arrives in Buenos Aires Saturday morning. Later that day the team will have the opportunity to watch a Primera A Division field hockey match, the top level of field hockey in Argentina.

Sunday's itinerary includes sight-seeing and the soccer match between Boca Juniors and Independiente. On Monday the Bulldogs get down to business by training with an accomplished Argentine coach, then playing Club Ciudad that night.

"Argentina will provide us with a unique training opportunity, as we will see some of the best players in the world," said junior midfielder Ali Rotondo, Yale's 2008 team captain. "In addition, it will enable us to develop our skills as individuals and as a team."

Tuesday includes a day trip to the ranch Estancia Santa Susana, which includes a gaucho show. On Wednesday the Bulldogs will perform a community service activity in Matanzas during the day, then play Buenos Aires Cricket and Rugby Club in a game that night.

Yale will watch the U.S. U-21 National Field Hockey Team vs. Argentina Thursday afternoon and then play Banfield Thursday night.

"We are so excited to be able to cheer on our national team while we are all the way down in Argentina," said sophomore midfielder Katie Cantore. "This trip is an amazing opportunity for our team to play field hockey against phenomenal players and learn from accomplished Argentine coaches while being immersed in a whole new culture. We anticipate a fantastic week of team bonding."

On Friday the Bulldogs have one more training session with an Argentine coach before a farewell lunch. Yale is scheduled to return to JFK early in the morning on Saturday, Mar. 15.

The Yale field hockey team has made foreign travel a part of each student-athlete's experience in recent years. Four years ago the Bulldogs traveled to Greece for the Olympics.

"I am grateful to Director of Athletics Tom Beckett, Senior Associate Athletics Director Barbara Chesler, and the Yale administration for their support of our foreign trip to Buenos Aires," said Stuper. "Undoubtedly this is an opportunity of a lifetime for each and every player!"

report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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