Our second day in Chile started off with breakfast and a team meeting. During the team meeting we not only discussed our plan for the game, but we also learned thanks to some trouble with the outlets that the fire codes here seem to be quite different than those at home. Luckily, no one on the team has been electrocuted yet.
After the meeting we went on a light run and did pickups through the streets to get our heart-rates spiked and prepared for our afternoon game. We nearly lost a few teammates when the path split and half of us ended up on the road running into oncoming traffic, but we all survived. Lunch consisted of the usual-carbs, carbs, a little bit of protein and more carbs. We’ve noticed here that salads are rare, as are any other vegetables and typically the color of our meals varies from white to tan to brown with perhaps a mint leaf on top of our postre (dessert).
After lunch we traveled to our first game. I think we all thought we were going to be playing at the same field that we practiced on yesterday, but we ended up at an enormous school packed with uniformed Chilean students who were pretty excited to see a team from the US on their campus.
In the U.S you may only find a few turf fields designed for hockey in one state, but here there are several within 15 minutes of the other. There were way more fans than I think any of us had anticipated because all of the students who had just finished school came to watch. There were lots of guys and even very small children that were very interested in our hockey because the culture here has the boys and girls playing and starting at a very young age, unlike in the U.S. Also, we were all excited to have one true fan in the stands yelling, “GOO USAAA!!!,” in a Chilean accent for the majority of the game!
Our first game was quite physical, but we adjusted very well. We scored in the first half, but the Chileans came back to tie up the game in the second half and the game ended at 1-1. After the game we were swarmed by young Chileans that wanted our autographs and the team enjoyed that experience for sure. The other team provided us with Powerades and little fruit kabobs that they’d created for us. We talked to a few of the girls and we were very impressed with their english. We impressed them, however, with how little we are able train together and how far away we live from each other.
Once we finished the game and mingled with the fans and the other team, we departed for the hotel to rest and eat dinner. I doubt our meal will be very colorful, but at least the food tastes good. Later on, we’re going to discuss today’s game and pinpoint things to work out tomorrow at training to improve for Thursday’s game.
~Sydney Kirby #17