Crusader women’s soccer builds team and trust

October 24, 2016

Over the past few years, Northwest Nazarene University Athletics has given its student-athletes once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that go beyond the playing fields and courts. These opportunities allow teams to build unity and trust while sharing unique experiences and serving others.

The Crusader volleyball and women’s golf teams traveled to China, members of the cross country team went to Kenya, and, most recently, the NNU women’s soccer team spent a week in the island nation of Trinidad off the coast of Venezuela.

“We love that as a university NNU focuses on the transformation of the whole person, and our trip to Trinidad helped embody that for us as a team.”
The Lady Crusaders traveled more than 4,000 miles together for a week-long competitive tour of the island nation playing three games, experiencing the culture of the Caribbean island and bonding.

“The trip to Trinidad this year was very beneficial,” fourth-year NNU head coach Mary Trigg said. “Half of our team is new this year, so the extra time together was helpful to build our culture and get to know each other.”

“We love that as a university NNU focuses on the transformation of the whole person, and our trip to Trinidad helped embody that for us as a team,” added former NNU player and Crusader Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach Jen (Field) O’Neill.

It gave the team some extra, invaluable time on the field in preparation for the 2016 season as 11 players on NNU’s 22-woman roster were new to the Nampa campus this fall. “Those 11 have helped give us the best depth we’ve ever had,” said Trigg.

The trip to Trinidad began with team members returning to campus in late July and spending a week and a half practicing in preparation for games against the Trincity Nationals, Jewels FC and the Trinidad U15 national team.

Leaving August 5, the NNU ladies not only hit the pitch for those three games during their week-long excursion, but also got the chance to experience a little bit of what life is like in the island nation: eating dinner from street food trucks and enjoying the local cuisine, touring a cocoa house and learning about Trinidad history, drinking fresh water from coconuts and getting a lesson on playing the steel drums.

The Crusaders also went on a tour of the Caroni Bird Sanctuary by boat through swamps and marshes, and visited Las Cuevas and Maracas beaches.

When they weren’t experiencing the island’s unique culture or competing, the Crusaders had the chance to train with kids at the Mascall Football Academy in Moruga (a rural area in the southern part of the island) and pass out soccer gear to the local players.

The trip was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the 22 NNU players and two Crusader coaches who led the trip.

“We had a great experience that our players won’t ever forget,” O’Neill said.

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