Cowgirl Soccer Europe Trip Blog

Cowgirl Soccer Europe Trip Blog


Trip Recap 

HSU Cowgirls are home safe from the most amazing 12 days of our lives! From Italy, to Switzerland, to France, and more.. each of us made memories that will last forever. Here is each of our biggest takeaways and blessings from our trip: 


Kendell Groom 

The memories are countless and the time spent with my teammates and family are moments I will never forget. This trip was definitely ONCE IN A LIFETIME and I am beyond grateful that I could be apart of it. I had many favorite parts of the trip, but I believe the most memorable had to be after our first friendly game. We shared a meal and danced with the home team; there was little communication due to the different languages, however this moment didn't need words, this was truly amazing. I will never be able to thank HSU enough for bringing me some of my closest friends, and family all the way across the world to make memories that will last forever. I am beyond blessed to have gotten this opportunity, it is just one of the many reminders that HSU is the place God destined for me to be at. GO COWGIRLS!

Kayla Gable 
Two things I've learned while on this amazing trip have been to go with the flow and take things how they come, and there's never too much stuff to do in one day. I'm thankful to be provided this opportunity by HSU for many reasons, two of which being that I got to spend 11 days with my closest friends participating in the sport we love and that I got to experience different countries and their people's customs.

Baylee Ford 
Seeing Julie Rrtz play, and seeing the swiss alps! I am so thankful for this trip because I have always DREAMED of going to the France area and the fact that Hardin-Simmons could make this possible for us is a dream come true.           

Ellie Ratliff 
Seeing Switzerland, Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps! Meeting and playing soccer with the kids for the community service project. Getting to experience and interact with different cultures on this trip was something I will never forget! There were countless memories from this trip but my two favorite were exploring Paris and shopping in Switzerland. I am so thankful that HSU could provide this opportunity for me because I have always wanted to go to France and Italy. I would never have thought that I would have the chance to go with a great group of girls and explore the number of places we did. HSU went above and beyond my expectations for this trip and I could not be more grateful!!

Brenna Ebbinghaus
One of my favorite memories was spending the day in Paris and experiencing how beautiful the city was along with seeing the Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum. Each memory was unique spent in Europe, really hard to chose specific ones. 

Elly Green  
Very thankful to share this opportunity with amazing teammates through Hardin-Simmons. Not only was the trip to France unforgettable but being able to incorporate the sport I love so much into this experience was unforgettable. 

Casady Jenkins 
I learned to adapt to different speaking countries and to try new foods. I am a very picky eater and I was worried about liking any of the food that they eat but I ended up like almost everything new that I decided to try. I loved learning new words and gestures that are both French and Italian. I also learned to not complain about Dallas traffic because the traffic around Paris was 100x worse. I am very thankful HSU gave me the opportunity to go on this trip because I don't know if I would have gotten this opportunity some other way. It gave me the opportunity to experience some of the best and prettiest places in the world. I didn't know that they could be this pretty and don't forget the food, even though it was all carbs it was the best pasta and pizza I have ever had. 


Aly Zinglemann 
Visiting the Lourve and learning how to dance "french" from the first team we played. I'm so thankful for this trip because it allowed me to get closer with my teammates and fulfill my dream of going to Paris.

Peyton Hasse 
Looking out on the view in Monaco that had the Mediterranean that went on for miles and was adorned with beautiful houses sitting on the hills. I'm thankful to HSU for providing me with the opportunity to travel to Europe because I was able to see some very beautiful places in the world, learn more about international culture, and best of all got to experience all of that with my teammates.

Madelyn Dowell 
Running through the streets in Switzerland with Mic, Brenna, and Mack and screaming and getting soaking wet, and then the joy of finding Mack's phone at the end. I'm thankful that HSU provided this opportunity because there was no way I would have ever had the chance to come to Europe because I wouldn't have been diligent about saving the money for it, and I for sure think that seeing the World Cup games is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will cherish for my whole life!

Rachel Bean 
My favorite part of the trip was the USA game for sure! Even though we didn't get to see some of the more well known players I still had a blast cheering on our country with over 45,000 other fans.

Taylor Bernal 
My favorite memory from the trip aside from traveling like crazy and visiting so many amazing different places in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Monaco, would be getting to experience the atmosphere of 5 World Cup games. Going to the World Cup has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid & simply getting to first-hand experience the WOMEN'S WORLD CUP is one I will never forget. I'm so grateful for this trip that HSU provided for us because it gave our team the opportunity to travel all the way across the world to watch the sport we all love at the highest level. I also thank HSU for this trip because it allowed our team to bond on so many different levels that we may not have experienced back in the states. It's different when we're all in a different country, trying to understand another language, and always on the go with little to no breaks between days. This trip has allowed our team to problem-solve and work together in areas that we're not used to, and I know this will only benefit us in the upcoming season. And for all of this, I couldn't thank HSU enough for this trip of a lifetime!

Bri Caudle  
My favorite memory I will take away from this trip was the World Cup games. It was incredible to be in that atmosphere watching women who I've grown up watching on TV.  I am so thankful HSU provided us this opportunity because it was the trip of a lifetime and it was an amazing chance to experience other cultures. 

Michaela Sabrsula 
My favorite part of our trip to Europe was being able to get to know my teammates better outside of soccer. I'm thankful for this opportunity that HSU gave me because without it I don't think I would have ever gone to Europe and experience its beauty and history 


Day 8

Peyton Hasse and Bri Caudle

Bonjour! The majority of the final day before heading back to the U.S. was spent in Paris, followed by a soccer game in Bailly-Romainvilliers. Many of us had the opportunity to explore the Louvre Museum today. It had everything from Greek sculptures, like the Nike and Venus de Milo, to iconic paintings such as the Mona Lisa and French Revolution. Several hours after exploring the Louvre, we enjoyed free time roaming through the beautiful city of Paris that is full of unique, deep history. Once our time at the city came to an end, we said au revoir to Paris, and headed to the soccer field to prepare for our final international match.

Upon arrival, we were ready to get off the bus and play soccer. A motivating pregame speech from our coach helped us get in the right mindset for the game. He reminded us of the importance of trust between the coaches and team. We battled pouring rain and a muddy field, but ended with a 1-0 victory! Following the game, we fueled our bodies with a french barbecue provided to us by our opponents and headed back to the hotel to get a good night of rest.

What a blessing it was to get the opportunity to explore Paris with our teammates and play soccer in the beautiful country of France. Tomorrow we head home and although it will be a sad day, we are looking forward to returning home to see our friends and family. Thank you to our amazing tour guide Ilaria, Coach Wood, Coach Camp, John Neese, the soccer team, parents, and the rest of the HSU family for making this trip possible and one to remember. France, you will be missed. Au revoir for now Europe, but we can't wait to see you again some day.

Day 7

Caitlin Christiansen and Taylor Bernal


It's us again, the women's soccer team all the way in Paris, France. We started off our day with a guided tour in our bus where we got the chance to learn about the amazing history of Paris along with seeing the beautiful architecture. We passed by the opera, Arch de Triumph, and lastly saw the Eiffel Tower.

We learned that the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 and that it basically served no purpose aside from showing what can be done with metal construction. However, it was very successful from the beginning, there were one million visitors in the first year. In order to go up the tower now, visitors must buy their tickets at least two months in advance.

We then were given some free time to explore the city and eat lunch. Everyone went their own way but we sat down and enjoyed some pizza and pasta. After, we made our way to the Notre Dame Cathedral which was under renovation so we weren't allowed to get close or go in. It was still amazing to see the magnificent architecture.

The group then met up together again where we traveled to the town of Valenciennes. This is where we got the chance to watch our fifth and final World Cup match between Brazil and Italy. It was a close, intense game that resulted in a 1-0 win for Brazil.

Now we are headed back to the hotel to rest up for our final full day in France. We hope y'all are enjoying our blogs, we'll be back in America very soon!

Bonne nuit, tout le monde


Day 6

Madelyn Dowell and Michaela Sabrsula


Today the Cowgirls had the wonderful opportunity to wake up and explore the city of Meaux, France or they could sleep in and catch up on all the sleep they've lost from the amazing places they've gone.

This afternoon the Cowgirls had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a community service project with local kids at a beautiful boarding school. The girls and kids were each split into 4 teams and set to play each other in a small round robin!

Following the games, the school provided some snacks and water for the girls before sending them to Reims for some free time and dinner. Here they got to explore the beautiful city, this included seeing a breathtaking cathedral named the Cathedral Norte-Dame de Reims. After seeing the cathedral many girls walked around the city and shopped before heading to another World Cup game to watch the Korean Republic play Norway.


Day 5

Rachel Bean and Casady Jenkins 


    Today the Cowgirls started off their day in Grenoble! But quickly took off early in the morning to the city of loooooove (Paris). Along the way we had a great view of the French Alps and France's country side.

    Today was by far one the most exciting days as the Cowgirls got to watch the USWNT take on Chile in the Parc de Princes Stadium in Paris! Crazy!! Within the first 10 minutes of the game, Carli Lloyd scored by an amazing upper 90 shot, followed by a header by Julie Ertz, and another header by Carli Lloyd. The stadium was packed with over 45,000 people and we ran into one of our former teammates Sofia Quijano! Definitely a day to remember!!

Tomorrow we get to spend the day hanging out and playing soccer with local kids, can't wait to share the sport we all love with them and make many more memories, Au revoir!!


Day 4 

Baylee Ford and Mackensie Moreno


Today the Cowgirls spent the morning in Grenoble!!! We toured the city with our tour guide Sophie, and learned about the history of the city. At one point in time, Grenoble was surrounded by a massive stone wall. Today in the streets you can see where the wall once was. Some of the Cowgirls enjoyed shopping, and others explored the city.

Later in the day, we took a short two-hour bus ride to Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The Cowgirls got free time to shop and explore the beautiful city by Lake Geneva. A funny story, well sort of funny, a massive storm hit 10 minutes before we were supposed to be on the bus!! We ran through the storm and along the way Mackensie dropped her iPhone without knowing. We searched for twenty minutes in puddles mid-calf deep. We decided to check one more time before leaving Switzerland, and we found the phone submerged in a puddle. Mackensie's phone was unharmed and after sitting in a little bag of rice for the entire World Cup game, her phone will live to see another day here in France!!!

To finish the day, the Cowgirls ventured back to Grenoble, where we got to watch Canada and New Zealand play in the World Cup. Canada finished the game with a 2-0 win!

Tomorrow we are headed to Paris to finish out our trip. We cannot wait for all of the memories and adventures to come!


Day 3

Brenna Ebbinghaus and Elly Green 


Today was the Cowgirls first full day in France!! They started off with a breakfast that was a little different than in Italy, but the croissants were absolutely delicious. After breakfast, the team took a bus ride into Monaco which isn't too far from Nice. Monaco is filled with historical buildings and information. Luckily, we had Mary-Christine, a tour guide that led us through the country. Monaco happens to be the second smallest country in the world and typically wealthy people are found living there.

The tour started with visiting a beautiful cathedral. As we were walking through, we noticed others praying by certain statues with small candles that were lit. Next, Mary-Christine took the team to see a palace where a prince currently lived. Apparently, people are fascinated with watching the guard change take place at noon every single day. 

The Cowgirls were then free to shop and eat wherever they pleased before heading back to the bus. Once back on the bus, we headed back to Nice for another tour and some shopping. We visited Fragonard, a perfume factory which proved to be a successful trip for a lot of the girls!!

After exploring Nice we headed toward the stadium so we could play our first international game!! The Cowgirls finished the game strong with an 8-0 win over Etoile Sportive Contoise. After the game, the hosts had prepared tons of food for the players. The girls had fun dancing with the other team and learning more about the French culture. We are so excited to be in such a beautiful country and we can't wait to explore more of France!!


Day 2

Aly Zinglemann and Kayla Gable


Today the Cowgirls began their day with another sweet breakfast filled with pastries and coffee. We then had free time to explore and shop in the small town of Arona, Italy. There were tons of cute shops and places to put our feet in the beautiful Lago Maggiore. We then ate a delicious lunch of chicken and veggies at Giardino Pizzeria within the Arona Square. Next the team departed on a 5-hour drive to Nice, France. We slept almost the whole way and accidentally missed our grand entrance. We did get to hear some of La La's (our guide) favorite European songs though starring Alvaro Soler who she claims to be the most handsome man in the world.

After settling into the hotel we left for the best part of our day by far. We got to go to our first World Cup game of the trip! France defeated Norway 2-1 in an amazing game, with an own goal and a penalty! There were a total of 34,872 people attending the game and we feel lucky to have been able to be 31 of them! We can't wait to get to play some soccer tomorrow and are LOVING FRANCE!!

Au revoir!


Day 1

We have players blogging from the Cowgirl soccer trip to Italy. Ellie Ratliff and Kendell Groom have today's update. 


The Cowgirls have completed day one in Italy! Our day started off with a buffet filled with sweet pastries, cereal, and juices. Our tour guide, Illaria (La la for short), informed us on how Italians don't eat breakfast, and when they do it is NEVER salty or savory foods. Instead they prefer to drink coffee, which to us Americans is a cup of espresso. So as you can imagine, breakfast was a lot different for us, but we are not complaining!! Bread bread bread!! 

After we were all full, we took a short drive to Lake Maggiore where we hopped on a boat and headed over to an island which was home to the Borromeo Palace. This palace was built by the Borromeo family and holds over 100 paintings. One room held only a table given by the pope to the family.  This palace was built specifically to show their visitors their power and wealth. There we toured the ground floor and first floor of the palace. Parts of the 2nd floor, along with the 3rd and 4th are off limits to tourists, as they are reserved for the family when they visit the island in the summer. 

The palace was surrounded by beautiful gardens, where ducks and even peacocks roamed the grounds. 

After visiting Isola Bella, we took the boat back to the mainland. We ate lunch and enjoyed free time in the Stresa town square. After returning back to our hotel in Arona, we enjoyed the lakefront for the rest of the evening.  Pizzerias and gelato shops were found on every corner! And of course, us cowgirls had to stop and try!!! Situated right on Lake Maggiore, Arona is beautiful and vibrant, and the Cowgirls enjoyed experiencing the Italian culture! WE LOVE ITALY AND CAN'T WAIT FOR DAY TWO!!!