Aug. 11, 2004
The Notre Dame women’s soccer team has completed a 24-hour travel journey and has arrived in Campinas, Brazil, for its 2004 preseason training tour. The Irish contingent includes 22 veteran players and four freshmen (Amanda Cinalli, Lauren Karas, Ashley Jones and Jannica Tjeder) from the nation’s No. 2-ranked incoming class. Be sure to check back to www.und.com throughout the next few days for various reports and updates on Notre Dame’s trip to Brazil. Planned offerings tentatively include: – a rotating series of diaries from the team tri-captains and other veterans; – a “Freshman Focus” series that will provide an introductory look at the four rookies who are on the Brazil trip; – game reports (with quotes) from a series of three split-squad doubleheaders to be played versus top women’s professional teams in Campinas (located roughly an hour outside of Sao Paulo); – photo galleries chronicling games and cultural events; a “Coach’s Corner” Q&A with each of the three Irish coaches; the official 2004 season preview; (the first of which has been posted) – some “Out and About With …” segments in which the Irish players learn about the local Brazilian culture and heritage; – and a “What I Did Last Summer” updated on some of the Irish players who are coming off noteworthy summer seasons. A feature on sophomore Christie Shaner also will provide her insights into the wonderful nation of Brazil, as she spent a month in Rio during May of 2003 while completing a high school senior project that documented the famous Flamenco men’s soccer club. The first offering that is in the works will be a diary entry from fifth year defender and team tri-captain Melissa Tancredi after the team attends a top Division I men’s soccer game between Ponte Preta – S.P. and Vittoria-Bahia, at Mouses Lucarelli in Campinas. Ponte Preta currently ranks second in the Division I standings and produced current Brazilian national team forward/midfielder Edilson. Notre Dame spent 24 hours of actual travel time from the Joyce Center parking lot to the Vittoria Hotel lobby before grabbing some rest and an excellent catered lunch at the hotel. The team then went through a light training exercise before returning to the hotel for dinner, in anticipation of a night of exciting Brazilian soccer. Rafael Gibim and his associates at Gibim International Promotions again are the hosts and on-site travel guides assisting Notre Dame during its stay. Several other teams are making trips to Brazil this summer and the University of Miami women’s team also currently is staying in the Vittoria during its visit. The weather is similar to that currently in South Bend, warm days with a slight chill in the evenings. The doubleheader schedule of games includes action on Thursday, Aug. 12, Saturday, Aug. 14 and Tuesday, Aug. 17. Notre Dame also took a preseason training trip to Brazil prior to the 2000 season and the benefits of that experience played a part in an excellent season that saw the Irish ranked No. 1 for most of the year before losing in the NCAA semifinals. The current 31-player roster includes two fifth-year seniors Tancredi and midfielder Randi Scheller – but Scheller is not on the trip due to her continuing hip injury rehabilitation while Tancredi did not make the 2000 trip to Brazil as she was sidelined by her own injury at that time. The Irish contingent also wishes to send out its best to the five members of the program who are not on the trip: Scheller, junior defender Amber McMillin and freshmen Kerri Hanks, Susan Pinnick and Kelly Simon. Hanks currently is in training with the U.S. Under-19 National Team while Pinnick and Simon are sidelined due to injuries (none of the three are slated to play for the Irish this fall).