Education, culture, and sports. These are some of the biggest reasons why young adults go to college. For the Minnesota State University Women’s Soccer Team, they got all three of these incredible experiences in one 9-day trip to beautiful Costa Rica.
The team arrived on a sunny afternoon, with plenty of time to settle into their hotel and enjoy their team orientation. The women learned about Costa Rica, and reviewed the custom itinerary that Costa Rica Soccer Tours had prepared for them.
Day 2 started with a hearty breakfast, followed by a visit to the local farmer’s market. We’ve never seen a group enjoy the farmer’s market as much as the MSU women did! The women didn’t hesitate to try a wide variety of new fruits, veggies, and foods, and could not stop expressing their gratitude for the experience. Coupled with a walking tour of the capital city of San Jose, this day had already turned into one filled with education and culture. And now, it was time for sport!
The game started after a beautiful firework show. The pyrotechnics must have inspired the MSU women, because they dominated the field the entire game. Their competitors – AD Moravia – were only allowed two shots on goal in the first half, one of which was a penalty kick resulting in their only point of the game.
The MSU defense held Moravia off throughout the entire game, and their offense really shone in the second half. Moravia had only one more shot on goal, while MSU had a whopping seven – five of which resulted in goals. The final score was 5-1 MSU, and the women loved sitting down with the other team over fresh fruit and chatting about their favorite sport.
The next day, the team enjoyed some of the fresh fruits they had purchased at the farmer’s market with their breakfast before heading out for yet another incredible experience: serving at a local center that helps children in need living in extreme poverty. The women were really touched by the history of the center, and truly enjoyed spending time with the wonderful children.
Over the course of the next six days, the Minnesota State University Women’s soccer trip continued to exceed the team’s expectations. Their stay included a transfer to the rainforest, a soak in natural mineral hot springs fueled by an active volcano, hiking into the jungle in search of waterfalls, and a thrilling zip line tour over the rainforest canopy.
In addition to all of these adventures, the team competed in two more friendly matches against local teams. While each game was challenging in its own way, the MSU women would return to the USA victorious, with wins in all three matches. Needless to say, the coaches were quite proud of their athletes, and the women were proud of their teammates!
The once in a lifetime trip ended with a catamaran tour of the Pacific beach, where the team enjoyed the ocean breezes and stunning coastline scenery while sipping tropical drinks and snacking on local fare. They could choose to relax on the catamaran, or dive head-first into the ocean for a bit of snorkeling and swimming. After taking in the sunset from the decks of the catamaran, the team sailed back to shore and packed their bags for the return trip home.
Between the beautiful new culture, the wonderful educational experiences, and the athletic challenges, we’re confident that the Minnesota State University Women’s Soccer Team got everything they hoped from their trip to Costa Rica – and more!