Pura Vida!
Mon, Aug. 8, 2011 - [Soccer]

More than a week’s worth of memories are beginning to form in the minds of the Loras College men’s and women’s soccer teams beginning today.


Both teams are in currently in Costa Rica to train, play in “friendlies”, and tour all that one of the treasures of Central America has to offer courtesy of Costa Rica Sports Tours, Inc. – and specifically – Costa Rica Soccer.


From August 8-16, the Duhawks will experience first-hand the culture, cuisine, and futbol passion that the “Ticos” have to offer.


This summer’s trip will include the opportunity to go white water rafting, spend time in the natural hot springs near the Arenal Volcano, tour the capital city of San Jose, spend a day at Guanacaste Beach, take a zip-line tour of the rain forest, and of course, play a total of six games (three men, three women) while mixing in training sessions in preparation for the 2011 season.


 “There’s a reason we keep going back to Costa Rica,” head coach Dan Rothert said before departing. “The staff is great, the experiences are memorable, the competition is strong, and we can do it all within a price tag that is affordable.”


A late shuffling of the itinerary for this tour has allowed for a special competitive opportunity for the Duhawks on August 10.


The women’s team, who finished 2010 with a record 22-1-1 and ranked #8 by the NSCAA will play Costa Rica’s U20-Women’s National Team at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa prior to a full men’s national team game.


“We simply couldn’t pass up this opportunity,” Rothert said.


“The overall changes to the trip are minimal, and we’re honored that everyone involved was willing and able to make this a reality for us. (It) should be a fun game and we're looking forward to it.”


The men’s team will open with a friendly against a portion of Deportiva Saprissa on the afternoon of the 10th, one of the country’s top club teams prior to the women’s start.


Also on August 10 (a day on the FIFA calendar for friendlies - when Jurgen Klinsmann makes his debut as manager of the United States Men’s National Team against Mexico) the Duhawks will take in the Costa Rica vs. Ecuador friendly from the bleachers of Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose. The Ticos are currently ranked #56 in the world and fifth in CONCACAF. Ecuador is #67 according to FIFA and ninth in CONMEBOL (and no doubt #1 according to current Duhawk and Ecuador native Jose Villacis).


Loras’ men will also play games on the 11thversus LIGA and the 13thversus Cartagena.


Loras’ women will play UCEM on the 11thand Carrillo on the 13th.


The Duhawks will open their regular season on Labor Day weekend in Wheaton, Illinois as part of the Bob Baptista Invitational at Wheaton College. The women will play at 4:30 PM on Friday against the host Thunder and then again on Saturday morning at 11:30 AM against DePauw University. The men open at 2:00 PM on Friday against North Central College and play the host Thunder under the lights at 7:00 PM on Saturday.


Loras will open the home schedule on September 11 in the Rock Bowl when they host Macalester in an afternoon doubleheader.