A Trip and Tournament to Remember
Abington Elite Soccer Team Travels to Disney
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Traveling to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World was an amazing experience for my teammates and me. Last July, our team, the Abington Elite Soccer Club, traveled to Orlando to play in a soccer tournament against teams from all over the world. We met players who didn’t speak English, and we learned a lot from this experience.
It was not easy to go to Disney. First, we had to raise money. With the help of our coaches, Marion Zulon, Rich Grafton and Bill Duchaney, we put in many hours canning, holding car washes and yard sales. Together, we made this trip happen.
Prior to this tournament, we were just a spring town team. While playing our normal Abington games we never thought we would be going to Disney together. Coach Zulon brought the idea of going to Disney to our parents and they were all for it. Family members were welcome, so it depended on them if everyone would be able to attend. Personally, I didn’t go with my parents; I stayed with a teammate.
We played four games in the tournament. It was unusual for us to play teams from far away. We were so used to playing teams from the South Shore; the farthest would be no more than an hour away. So, traveling on a plane to play was a very different experience.
We played against Puerto Rico, Panama and two teams from Florida. Each had a different playing style, and we learned many things from this including how to move the ball around and how to communicate better. We also learned to adjust to the other team’s style. We gained knowledge and experience from game situations that we hadn’t been used to.
It is a great experience to play soccer with people that speak other languages, and to see how they communicate with one another on the field. After each game, we got to interact with them for just a couple of minutes. We would trade our team pins and some teams even gave us a little flag with information about where they were from. It was very cool to meet people from places that are not like where we live, a truly great experience.
Toward the end of the tournament each team would find out if they had made the playoffs, but not all the teams made it. It would have been an honor if we did.
Abington Elite is not a team anymore, but we all still play soccer. Most of us play for the Abington High girls soccer teams, but a couple play for private schools. As a team, we worked well together. We communicated and we treated each other well. I’ve known my teammates since we were very little. We didn’t grow up playing on this team, but we grew up playing together for other teams and the town. We are all still close and will always cherish the memories we have made together.
I will always be grateful for the opportunities I’ve had while playing soccer, and I will always remember this trip. I got to spend a week in Orlando with all my friends; we learned a lot and had fun. I would love to go back again, but if not, I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had.
The Abington Elite included the following girls from Abington High:
Hannah Liebke ‘2o, Kayli Tobin ’20, Emily Duchaney ’19, Maddie Grafton ’19, Nicole Marella ’19, Brianna McCadden ’19, Maddie O’Connell ’19, Megan Reid ’19, Casey Strobel ’19, Makayla Zulon ’19, Julia Hamel ’18 and Amanda Martell ’18