NEWTON, Mass. – Mount Ida College women's soccer players AnnaMarie Seiler (Biddeford, Maine), Morgan Rzonca (Bristol, Conn.) and Rachel Lambert (Lebanon, Conn.) are making the most out of their summer break by traveling the world, representing the school and their team in Europe and Central America.
Seiler, a sophomore goalie, was selected to travel to Poland and Hungary as part of an "Evil Empires" course at Mount Ida College from May 16th to May 26th, while seniors Rzonca and Lambert had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica with Beyond Sports Tours from May 15th through May 23rd.
Based upon an interest in psychology and history and a stellar 4.0 grade point average, Seiler was handpicked for this trip abroad for a course that incorporated heavy readings and in-depth essays on the events that occurred during the Holocaust in Europe. Not only did she research and learn about the past, but the trip provided tours regarding the historical sites they were learning about in their course. They discussed the emotional and political aspects of World War II while getting the opportunity to visit memorials, cemeteries, prisons, and other historic buildings related to the war.
Additionally, Seiler took initiative to rent a bike to travel around Warsaw and hiked up to the Liberty Stature in her trip to Budapest.
"Travelling abroad opens your eyes to other people and cultures," said Seiler, who played 12 games and made 123 saves while collecting one shutout in her first year between the pipes.
As for the senior leaders, their tour group put an emphasis on a variety of travel excursions, but soccer was a large part of their trip. Their trip included soccer training, games, and hosting clinics with local youth as well as different excursion opportunities.
Rzonca and Lambert were members of 'Team Sloth,' which was made up of 12 women from all over the United States, including Washington State, Oregon, and North Carolina, as well as some close neighbors in New York.
"I am a firm believer that experience is everything, so while there I was willing to try new foods and use some of the Spanish language to feel as welcomed as possible," added Rzonca, who is entering her senior season in the Mount Ida midfield. "I ate Casados, a traditional dish made of rice, beans, beef, chicken or fish, and the best part was the plantains, which was a daily occurrence on the menu!"
The players for the tour were selected by statistical data, all-conference recognition, and coaches' recommendations. During the trip, the players stayed in multiple areas throughout Costa Rica, including the city of San Jose, the countryside of La Fortuna, and the beachside of Punta Leona. In addition to their training, they played in games against women on premier teams from the area of San Jose.
"This opportunity has taught me that if given the chance you need to be willing to put yourself out there, step out of your comfort zone, travel and never stop smiling," said Rzonca. "As they say in Costa Rica, Pura Vida. Find your good life!"