Jan. 9, 2000

Kelly Lindsey’s U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team Diary

Notre Dame junior defender offers an account of her experiences with the U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team in Australia. The team — which also includes Notre Dame seniors LaKeysia Beene and Jenny Streiffer — arrived in Australia on January 4, and will return on January 14, after playing three games at the Australia Cup.

Chapter 1

January 9, 2000 Melbourne, Australia

Well, we made it here safely. The 15-hour flight was great, the jet lag only lasted a day or two, and we have been busy ever since. We are 16 hours ahead of South Bend time. The people here are so nice. They are always offering help and always eager to find out how we are doing. The food is a bit weird. We had pumpkin soup the first day, which was a bit strange. For breakfast they serve baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, and sandwiches. We did find an ice cream shop just around the corner, and it has been our savior. We have been to the city numerous times, went to the zoo yesterday and enjoyed the summer sun at the beach today (Sunday).

Australia is really a lot like the U.S. It reminds me of California with a European influence. It is incredibly hard to cross the streets because they drive on the left side of the road around these parts. We are always looking the wrong way, and numerous times we have been close to being hit. I never knew crossing the road could be so tough. It really teaches you to look both ways.

Melbourne has a tram system that runs throughout the city and can take you anywhere. The second day we all walked downtown to shop and we wanted to take the tram back. Keysia, Streiffer, and I were trying to figure out which tram to take and how much it would cost. The natives were very kind in helping us out, but overall we looked like stupid, American tourists. We finally got on a tram and then would could not figure out how to pay. The people told us not to worry about it and just to enjoy our holiday. We laughed the entire ride and felt extremely dumb. Now we just play the stupid American act and ride everywhere for free.

We played our first game two days ago (Friday) and beat the Czech Republic 8-1. All three NDers started, and Streiffer scored two awesome goals. The Czech’s were not as so fast and out of shape, and after a few goals they started to give up. They got injured more than any team I have ever played against. Tomorrow (Monday) we play the Sweden team, which should be our hardest game of the trip.

Overall things have been great! We are having a lot of fun and the soccer has been intense. This team is very impressive and it is great to be playing with such great players.