Wildcats' World Cup trip a 'once-in-a-lifetime' experience

Wildcats' World Cup trip a 'once-in-a-lifetime' experience

DENVER – Three members of the Johnson & Wales University women's soccer team had the fortune of witnessing history during a recent two-week trip to Europe.

JWU Denver footballers Rebecca Brock, Hailey Jensen and Amanda Fischer attended two World Cup games featuring the United States, including the Americans' record-breaking 13-0 win on June 11 over Thailand in Reims, France.

"It was fun to watch all the goals scored in the Thailand game and celebrate with the US and see all the first World Cup goals scored for individual players and other records set," Brock said after the USWNT set a World Cup record for the most goals in a single match. 

A few days later, Brock, Jensen and Fischer were on hand to see the USA's 3-0 victory over Chile at Parc des Princes in Paris. A significant number of Chilean supporters were also in attendance, which made it fun to see both fan bases exchange cheers back and forth. 

"Not only getting to see the US play in the World Cup but getting to explore new countries with my teammates and friends felt like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Of the two games we saw I think the one in Paris was my favorite," Jensen said. "The stadium was huge, and to see every seat filled was unbelievable. To be surrounded by so many US fans that made the journey to France just like us made the atmosphere incredible!"

The trio's trip wasn't just all about soccer, however. Their journey overseas included stops in five countries and eight different cities, including London, England; Lille, France; Brussels, Belgium; Reims, France; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Dortmund, Germany; Paris, France, and Dijon, France.

As noted by Brock: "When a culinary nutrition major, baking and pastry major, and liberal studies major head to Europe, a lot of food is eaten and history seen. We did all the touristy things from the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, to the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur, and Notre Dame."

Sampling some of the tastiest food in the world, taking part in a traditional English afternoon tea and seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the night sky were some of the experiences these Wildcats will never forget.

"Traveling across the Atlantic and having the opportunity to explore different countries and experiencing their cultures was definitely an awesome experience," Fischer said. "While abroad, I tried to blend in and observe rather than be an all-out tourist. I still felt like we barley started discovering what each place had to offer, and would definitely want to go back and explore more, especially in Amsterdam, Dijon, and London. Overall, this trip we dealt with adversity of being in a foreign place and learned much from it as well as starting off on the right foot for quite a memorable summer."

Trip Highlights (other than the World Cup)

  • Hailey: The Imperial war museum in London and the Museum of Fine Art in Dijon. The Imperial War Museum was my favorite because I really enjoy the 20th century.
  • Amanda: Seeing the Eiffel Tower at night. From sun down to 1 a.m., the Eiffel Tower twinkles the first 5 minutes of every hour. We visited several small markets. It was cool to see the different varieties of vegetables and how bright their colors were.
  • RebeccaIn London we did a traditional afternoon tea. This consisted of finger sandwiches, scones, and desserts.

Favorite Food

  • HaileyDutch pancakes because they were giant and delicious!
  • Amanda: Belgian waffles with Speculoos, but the quiche from Lille was a close second!
  • Rebecca: As a baking and pastry major visiting France, it is difficult to pick one food; however, I think the crepes were my favorite. Belgian chocolate comes in at a close second.