Välkommen till Sverige! The Trinity Tigers women’s soccer team got to travel to Malmö, Sweden, this past summer. The trip combined Scandinavian sightseeing with honing the team’s soccer skills alongside some of the top European club teams.

The memorable trip began July 19, with the Tigers getting a behind-the-scenes look at the daily training of local professional club team, Malmö FF. Getting to practice alongside the professional players served as a heavy motivator for the Tigers, as witnessing the professional team’s level of technical football be played on such a fast pitch gave the players something to aspire to in their own playing.

During their trip, the women’s soccer team had the opportunity to play two games against professional international teams.

The first game was against Halma IS. Sophomore midfielder Kimberly Polasek scored the first goal of the game during the first ten minutes against the professional team, with junior midfielder Emily Jorgens scoring a second one not too long after. The Tigers held onto their momentum and intensity throughout the duration of the game and went on to win 3-2 against the Swedish club team.

The team’s second game was played against prominent club team AIK. Jorgens scored three goals during the game, leading the team to an 11-2 victory. This marked the Tigers’ second victory against a professional team during their time in Sweden.

“The entire experience has made us more confident for the upcoming season, because now we know that we have the capability to compete, and even win, across the world,” said junior center midfielder Riah Risk.

The language barrier between the two teams added an element of difficulty to the competition, but the teams found ways to work around this in order to communicate with one another.

“The teams had to learn to communicate somehow, but at the same time, they were able to because soccer is a universal language,” said coach Lance Key.

The team’s time in Sweden was not all work, as the players also had the chance to explore the city of Malmö and attend the UEFA Euro 2013 Championship match. One of the trip’s highlights included getting to see Tylösand Beach, where the team played beach soccer and also got to listen to some local bands play at a concert.

The trip had a significant impact on the players because it allowed them to grow even closer as teammates and underscored the value the team places on being a family. “It helped us bond as a team so much, just getting closer on and off the field. It was also nice having some of the girls’ families there, as well. Even though we were a tour group, it felt like a giant family reunion. We had a blast,” said sophomore midfielder Robin Lipinski.

The women’s soccer team’s time spent in Sweden has proven to be great preparation for their 2013-2014 season, as the Tigers won both their games this past weekend against Luther (7-1) and Puget Sound (3-1). The team’s next game takes place today at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.