Wilkes Women’s Soccer Team In Italy, Helps Build Chemistry for Season

Frank Passalacqua, Sports Editor

“It was all so surreal. We got there and everything, right at the start, was so different. The culture there is like nothing I have ever seen. Everything is so beautiful, it was all so amazing,” said Haley Adam while commenting on her latest trip to Italy.

The beautiful architecture, numerous sight-seeing tours and gelatos are just a few of the many things the women’s soccer team has been boasting about since their trip to Italy this past summer. The 10-day tour of Italy was just the latest opportunity for the Lady Colonels. Italy marked the third time the soccer team has been overseas, recently visiting Brazil in 2010 and Holland, Belgium, and Germany in 2005.

Head Coach John Sumoksi led the team to many attractions in places like Rome, Tuscany, Montecatini Terme, Cinque Terre, and Coma.

“Trips like this always brings teams together,” Sumoski said. “Obviously not too many people can go to Italy for 10 days and not get along.”

Helping build team chemistry is crucial and Italy proved to be a team hit. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors of the team all had the chance to grow together on foreign soil.

“Our team chemistry went through the roof,” said Haley Adam, midfielder. “We were together 24/7 and it really tested our relationships, but we all grew as teammates. I consider each and every one of the girls on my team a part of my family- our bond is like no other,” Adam said.

Perhaps what was most important about Italy was the opportunity for the team to experience Italian soccer first-hand. They played three Italian clubs/ professional teams in friendly matches to prepare for fall.

“The competition was great. We were able to get to know them after the games we had the pleasure of training with a previous pro Italian keeper,” Haley said.

This was Adam’s third trip to Italy, but first with the team for soccer.

Teammate Katie Hughes, defense, had a mutual feeling and commented on the opportunity.

“Seeing the different attractions that Italy has to offer only brought the team closer together,” Hughes said. “Not many teams can say that they all made a wish at the Trevi fountain or took a boat ride on the Mediterranean Sea. Roaming the streets of Italy will always be a special memory that I am lucky to have shared with my team.”

The Lady Colonels will look to put that built chemistry and a worthy offseason to work when Freedom Conference play opens on October 5 against Eastern University. Last season, the women’s soccer team finished 12-5-5 after losing a dramatic shootout to Eastern in the conference semifinals.

Until the end of the season, seven of the remaining nine games will be Freedom matchups, emphasizing a clutch end to the year.

Head Coach Sumoski returns for his twelfth season, which includes an impressive resume for the Colonels. Sumoski is the all-time winningest coach with a record of 113-87-22, with ten trips to the Freedom Conference tournament and coaching 44 All-Freedom Conference players.

“Our team is different than previous years,” said Haley Adam. “We are a younger team, which means we can grow together. I believe that we will do great things this season. I have never been more excited about anything.”

The Lady Colonels are currently 3-1. Freshman standout Dianne Connor leads the team with two goals and five points, and junior Alicia Roberts comes in second with two goals and a total of four points.

“While in another country with your team you are constantly being exposed to new and different aspects of culture. Being in another country with my team was awesome because we experienced so much together.  We experienced seeing once and a life time things but we also worked together to get through language barriers and other aspects of culture that we were not accustomed to.” – Katie Hughes, junior defender.