Clarksville, TN – Every four seasons the National Collegiate Athletic Association allows an athletic program to take an international tour outside their sport’s season. This summer the Austin Peay State University (APSU) soccer team will take advantage of the opportunity when they take a ten-day trip to Italy, that will see them play matches against three local Italian women’s soccer clubs.
On the Governors ten day, 755-kilometer (469.135 mile) journey through Italy, they will begin in northern Italy, visiting Milan and Lake Como first.
They then will travel south, visiting the cities of Pisa, Florence, and Sienna. Finally, the Govs will end their trip in the capital city of Rome.
On the trip the Austin Peay State University Governors will make stops at many historic destinations, in Milan, they will tour San Siro Stadium, the home of AC Milan and one of the most iconic stadiums in the world. On June 7th and 8th, the Governors will play the first two matches of their international tour while in Lake Como.
After traveling south to Pisa, the Govs will visit Piazza Dei Miracoli and its world-famous Leaning Tower. A stop in Florence will allow the Govs to experience the birthplace of the Renaissance, before playing their final match of the trip on June 10, against another local Italian soccer club. Finally, in Rome the APSU Govs will take in a live 2020 UEFA European Football Championship match to conclude their trip.
“An international trip where we get to play foreign teams and experience another culture as both athletes and tourists is such an incredible experience for our players,” said head coach Naomi Kolarova. “Planning and fundraising wise, this has been a long time in the works for our girls, we first started talking about it in the spring of 2018.
Our team is beyond excited and I know the girls are going to carry the memories created on the trip with them for the rest of their lives. We are so appreciative of all the support our team has received through work opportunities and donations. Without people assisting us in the fundraising campaign, this trip would not be possible. We can’t wait until June!”
Over the past 18 months, the soccer team has worked eight events as a group in Nashville at Nissan Stadium and Municipal Auditorium as a way to raise money for their trip abroad. Many players have worked other events individually to help raise aid in the financing of the trip.
To support Austin Peay State University soccer, you can make a gift to the Soccer Fund of Excellence.
Thoughts from APSU Govs
Freshman Jisela Dall… “I am super excited for our trip to Italy! It is a unique experience to be able to play with my team in another country. This trip provides our team with a great educational and soccer opportunity. Our team chemistry will become even stronger as we take on a new country and represent Austin Peay State University.”
Sophomore Delanie McKeon… “Getting the opportunity to travel across the world with our team will provide us amazing exposure to an entirely new type of competition that will better prepare us for the upcoming season. The chance to meet other players who don’t speak our language, but share our love for the game helps to put into perspective how impactful soccer can be within our lives. Spending time with one another in such a diverse environment will only bring us closer and reinforce the bond we have come to create. The rich culture and sights we will be able to experience firsthand will be an absolute gift, as we have only seen pictures and read about them in textbooks.”
Junior Claire Larose… “Italy is important for us as a team because it allows us to bond with each other in a different setting, while becoming cultured in another country. Traveling as a team is one thing, but traveling with each other to another country without the focus being entirely pin pointed on soccer I think will bring a better chemistry amongst the team. This Italy trip is important because it allows the girls who have not had the opportunity to travel outside the United States to do so, experience a different culture, and have memories that will last a lifetime. It is an opportunity that cannot be surpassed and I know the team and I are very excited for this adventure.”
Senior Renee Semaan… “I think it is important for anyone and everyone to travel and see the world as much as possible! There is so much to learn and so much to experience. This provides an opportunity to explore with our best friends while playing the sport we love and making memories that we will carry with us forever. When you are fortunate enough to have a chance like this, you do not pass it up!”