Men’s Soccer Travels Abroad
Wittenberg men’s soccer traveled abroad to Europe on Aug. 2, and returned 10 days later after seeing sights and playing three games against professional teams.
The team made stops in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Austria. Following a set schedule that left about two hours of free time in each city they visited, players were given the opportunity to explore places like Munich, Venice, Verona, Zurich and Innsbruck, among others.
“My favorite part was the bike tour of Munich,” Andrew Yokum, junior captain of Wittenberg men’s soccer said. “We learned a lot of history of the city and how it came to be before and after the World Wars.”
They also got to tour Allianz Arena, professional soccer team Bayern Munich’s stadium, the second largest beer garden in the world where the infamous Oktoberfest is held in Germany, and played a lot of card games at night, enjoying each other’s company.
In addition to having three training sessions abroad, the Tigers played three different teams that are a part of professional leagues in their respective countries. They played a team from Germany and two from Italy, losing all three games.
“Even though we lost badly, I still think we gained a valuable knowledge of our team and we can’t wait for our actual season to start,” Yokum said.
New head coach of Wittenberg men’s soccer, Dwight Burgess, traveled with the team, giving him the opportunity to bond with the players before their first preseason together.
“I consider this trip to be the best chance I’ve had to get to know my players off the field, as people,” Burgess said.
It is very common for Wittenberg sports teams to travel abroad every few years. In the past two years, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s lacrosse, to name a few, went overseas to experience a different culture and play games against international opponents.
“I believe it’s a great part of the college experience for all students, not only athletes,” Burgess said. “Being exposed to different places, different cultures, et cetera can serve as an important role in terms of personal growth. As a sports team, it also provides a great bonding opportunity and the chance to play against competitive teams we would otherwise not see.”
The Tigers kicked off their home-opener, winning 4-1 against Wilmington on Sept. 1, nearly a month after departing for Europe, and are ready to have a great fall season.