June 20, 2016
Editor’s Note: From June 3-13, 2016, the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team traveled to France and Monaco for its foreign tour. Four Irish student-athletes have submitted blogs detailing the trip from Monaco to Nice to Avignon to Paris. The third entry by senior forward/midfielder Emily Geyer recaps the team’s friendly against the U18 club from Paris Saint-Germain. To read the first account of the team’s visit to Monaco and Nice by Taylor Klawunder, click here. For Lexi Nicholas’ blog from Avignon, click here.
By Emily Geyer ’17
When we finally got to Paris for the last leg of our journey, it was quite a change of pace from the southern part of France where we had been. Paris was packed with tourists visiting for the summer season and the city itself was so much bigger than I could have imagined.
We were lucky enough to be able to see a lot of the city in the few days leading up to our second and final game, and were excited to have the opportunity to play one of the top European clubs in Paris Saint-Germain. We didn’t really know what to expect going into the game – we didn’t even know what age group we were playing against! In our first game we played a professional team and won 3-0, but we knew that PSG was going to be a much different game.
As our bus neared the training grounds on game day, we blasted our usual pregame music while taking in the multi-field complex in amazement. There were several groups of younger boys training on one of the fields when we arrived and they seemed to be quite surprised to see a group of Americans get off a bus to play a game. Once we finally found our assigned locker room, we got ready for the game and made our way over to the turf field on which we would be playing.
We ran through our usual warm up as the PSG girls made their way onto the field. The coaches informed that we would be playing their U18 team and we remained confident in our usual game plan as the kick-off whistle blared. We started strong from the beginning, imposing our will on PSG and making sure not to be outworked or outplayed by girls a few years younger. This mentality paid off as we quickly scored and secured a 3-0 lead going into the half. We were feeling good and having fun and finished the game with a 5-1 win.
It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to represent Notre Dame while playing against one of the most prestigious European clubs. While we experienced many cultural differences between France and the US during our trip, our game was a reminder that soccer is soccer no matter where you are and is something that can bring two groups together.
After the game, PSG provided food for us and simply could not have been more hospitable. They were all so welcoming and it was truly a special experience to share with them. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to travel to France and play games with my team, and it was a trip I will remember for a lifetime.