Thursday, December 20, 2012

Game Day Down Under

After an adventurous day at Kangaroo Island, this morning we woke at 7:30am to return our focus to lax! We resumed our normal routine of having a hearty breakfast, seeing Nicole for pre-practice prep, braiding hair (it’s a necessity), and loading the vans by 8:45am. Everyone could feel the energy and excitement as we put on our equipment and began warm ups. However, this was no ordinary day of lacrosse. It was finally the day we would be playing the Australian National Team! After years of anticipation, training, and imagining about what this experience would be like, it was finally a tangible reality. At 9am we had a pregame practice before the first of three competitions against the Australians. The team took on each drill with intensity and focus. Defense looked unstoppable with their constant high pressure and unifying communication while attack looked sharp moving the ball quickly, anticipating, and making sharp cuts. Needless to say, after practice we were all confident and excited to take on the team in only 6 hours! 

We blasted tunes in Whit and Morgan’s van on the way back to the bungalows where we had turkey sandwiches, watermelon, pesto tortellini, pb&j (never gets old!) and other snacks. Let’s just say on the Dartmouth Women’s Lacrosse Team, you’re guaranteed to always find delicious, creative dishes at every meal. 

A large portion of the team returned to Glenelg after lunch for an hour of shopping around the cute beach town. Everyone was drooling over the creameries with homemade waffle bowls as the sweet smells wafted down the main street. However, many of us did get some authentic local Adelaide chocolates for later. We stopped in cute boutiques, stationary stores, touristy gift shops, and surf shacks. Compared to Sydney and Cairns, Glenelg had fewer chain stores, so it was much more common to find authentic Australian products. For the last minute shoppers, this was an opportunity to pick up last minute Secret Santa gifts for our exchange later in the afternoon.
Right after returning from town, we all gathered together for our team’s Secret Santa! This is an activity that our team does every year in Hanover, but this year we had the special opportunity to be together so close to Christmas and in a foreign country where gifts all promise to provide great memories. There was certainty a wide variety of gifts, ranging from usable items to ridiculously funny nicnacs. The more touristy gifts included kangaroo backpacks, Australian t-shirts and memorabilia. Other great gifts included the boomerang and picture frame (which was signed by the team) and given to our lovely chaperones Christine Anneberg and Anne Hudak! By far the funniest gifts were fly swatting safari hats given to Lindsey Allard ’14 and Christine.
Secret Santa gift exchange

After a fun afternoon of activities, we returned to the field at 5pm to begin our warm up. The high energy carried into the afternoon and pumped us up for our game. As customary to international competition, both teams walked out to the midfield where the Australians gave a verbal welcome and each player exchanged a token. We each gave a Dartmouth Lacrosse T-shirt and received in exchange a 2012 World Cup pen and Australian keychain. This trading of gifts signified the opening of the first of three games against the Australian National Team. 

After the game we had a quick wash up and headed to Stella’s Restaurant where we had delicious meals (thank you Mr. and Mrs. Calby!!).  The restaurant had big glass panes that looked out onto the ocean and a gorgeous sunset. It was perfect atmosphere and, as always, amazing conversation! 
We were all exhausted when we returned from our late dinner and returned to our bungalows to get a good nights rest before practice tomorrow morning. 

Anjalie Christie ’14 & Kristin Giovanniello ‘14