March 15, 2013
Final blog from Spain
Ashley Meier U-20 Blog

Sunday, March 10 we had a complete day off from training. We woke up, ate breakfast, had a few hours off to relax, ate lunch, then loaded the bus and headed to a flea market that was 20 minutes away. We had an hour to walk around and buy any cheap souvenirs we liked. There were all sorts of jewelry, bags, clothing, house ware and sunglasses lying out to be bought. Although many people think “bargaining” when you say flea markets, the venders were not very willing to lower the prices.

After, we all loaded back on the bus. Our bus driver informed us that the seaside was about 5 minutes down the road, so we headed that way. We pulled up to this beautiful lighthouse right on the shore and everyone walked down to the water. Many people took off their shoes and walked into the water, while others were snapping pictures, and the remainder found shells and rocks on the shore. To everyone’s surprise we found sea glass in the rocks and it was bright blue, yellow and green colors. After that we had dinner, a meeting, walked on the golf course and had the rest of the night to ourselves.

The next morning we all had breakfast and prepared for our game against Sweden later that afternoon. We had a pregame talk and everyone was on the same page - we all wanted to win. At that point our record was 0-1-1, and we wanted to end with a victory.

Once we reached the fields for our 2 p.m. game, we started our warm-up to prepare ourselves physically and mentally for the contest. The first half did not go quite as we had planned because we could not seem to develop a rhythm and the pace of the game was too slow. However, we managed to change things around the second half and the game was much better. We started to play more simply and trust each other more, which led to more chances for us.

In the end, we tied the Swedes 0-0, but they had a quality chance with one minute left, where our keeper made a great save. After the game we were all exhausted and a little frustrated that we did not come out with a win, but still glad that we did not lose.

That night we had our closing meeting where we discussed what we learned from this camp and what lessons we can take away with us. Then we all said goodbye to the coaches and thanked them for their time. Now we get to look forward to a nine and a half hour flight home, back to the United States!

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