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Concordia College 2 vs. Angra Dos Reis FC 1
Recap courtesy of Jason Wright (Concordia women's soccer assistant coach)

1st Half
The game started out with about 15 minutes of daylight left, just like the old days of high school soccer games. The game was played under the lights against Angra Dos Reis in their hometown stadium. The air was very sticky and there was a fresh layer of dew on the ground from evening clouds rolling in. It was just enough to make the ball move a little quicker than usual.

The referee crew consisted of a referee from their club and two parent linesmen from their club as well. The whole situation made for a very interesting game for both of the teams. As the whistle blew, we stepped onto the field with an extra drive and passion that we hadn't shown on the trip thus far. 

We came out flying and taking advantage of every opportunity we had to possess the ball and create beautiful passes. The kind of passing and touches we've seen from some of the professional teams we've had the pleasure to watch.

We were the first on the board with a goal from Amy Ravenhorst on a gorgeous cross from Rachael Lewis. The goal came at about the 15-minute mark. 

The passing and possession of the ball continued throughout the first half as we dominated most of the play all over the field. Defense was strong, our midfield was aggressive and our forwards were working every second to up the score line for us.

Unfortunately, a little more than halfway through the first half, Angra Dos Reis scored the equalizer. The goal set us on our heals a little bit because the score came from a deflected header right into the feet of the opposing team. However, we did bounce back and regained control of the game despite their team's sudden burst of energy along with crazy Brazilian fans and their chanting and raving behind our bench.

2nd Half
The second half started out with us regaining control of the game and moving forward every time we had the ball. We ended up missing on a few extremely close opportunities.

The fans were once again doing their best to bring out every bit of their home team's energy to help them find a way back into the game. With a little help from the crowd, there were a few "mishaps" that created strong opportunities for their team. We defended well in order to keep the opportunities out of the net.

The second half seemed to go on forever. Call after call, shot after shot, from one end to the other. We finally managed to put in the go-ahead goal, which happened to be all we needed to seal the deal for the well-earned win. 

Stacy Hansen punched in a goal from the top of the box after a few fumbles and deflections from both teams.

The team is moving forward very well. Taking in every piece of information and tactic learned from this trip. They have become an extremely strong team in the process. We look forward to playing the Brazilian National Team because we have more confidence and a lot more awareness of movement and the capabilities of high caliber players!

Concordia College 1 vs. Guarini FC 4
Recap courtesy of Damian Koshnick (Concordia men’s soccer coach – traveling with the team and acting as an assistant coach on the trip)

1st Half
The game started under a cloudy sky. Guarini in green and white, was a patient technically sound team, and had a mix of luck in sending through balls past our defense. 

There were two referees calling the game. In the first half, we had the more experienced of the two calling our defensive half. Our defensive line did a moderately proficient job pulling forward and getting the Guarini forwards to get caught in offsides positions. Also, the elder referee did a good job calling offsides infractions. Though at one point, lacking a common language, the referee had to give head coach Daniel Weiler a disapproving look that said, “You don’t have to call it for me! I’ve got this. Be quiet!”

Guarini scored first on an unlikely error from our goalkeeper. The ball was played back and the keeper had time to clear the ball quickly. Instead, she played the ball close and the Guarini forward intercepted for an easy four-yard finish. 

Guarini scored their second on a far post cross in approximately the 30th minute. They added another just before the end of the half. 

2nd Half
Guarini scored their fourth goal on an absolute hammer from just outside the goal box. The ball beat Concordia’s stand –in Brazilian goalkeeper, to the upper right corner. 

Despite this, the second half, brought a significant shift in possession and confidence for the Cobbers. They were able to string together passes more consistently and tackled more positively. 

The team was rewarded in the 70th minute when, under a significant amount of pressure, Morgan Bain played the ball across the box and into the net, as she returned the favor with a wonderful strike from distance.  That was Morgan’s second goal of the trip. 

Despite the final score line of 4 -1, Concordia played very strong defensively in both halves. The Cobbers were steady, patient, but Guarini had more of the possession because of our inconsistency in terms of keeping possession. The team is learning to defend with numbers, close down space quickly, and how to 
mount a decisive counterattack.  The coaching staff is happy with the result of the game and is excited for the next match.

Recap courtesy of Dan Weiler - Concordia women's head coach

On Wednesday afternoon a politician from Vinhedo visited us at our hotel. Upon his request, we took a group picture with him and his colleagues. We learned later that day that He wanted to arrange a match with Vinhedo Futbol Club. After some preparation the game was tentatively set for Friday evening.  We are, however, learning that “set plans” come with the feeling of uncertainty. 

We arrived at the stadium and walked through a large group of kids playing in the street. The field was lit and people were beginning to trickle into the stadium. As we began our warm-up, Vinhedo’s women’s team started to walk on to the field.  That was a huge relief for the team and the entire coaching staff!! We finally had confirmation that the match would take place.

The local kids were extremely eager to talk with us and help shag soccer balls.  So eager, in fact, that we had to ask them to stay outside the fence 

The match began and we immediately set the tone by maintaining possession. The field was in good condition and allowed us to move the ball quickly through their defense.  It was exciting to witness the training session ideas transferred to a game setting.

We broke down their defense two or three times and were rewarded with our first goal in the 15th minute. Morgan Bain tallied her first goal of the trip when she was able to turn around her defender on the left side of the box and fire a shot that went across the face of the goal and into the far side of the net. The goal-scoring opportunity was set up off of a pass from Suzy Grabko

We struck a second time in the 25th minute when Jessie Rosenthal took a pass from Stacey Hansen, who had been set up by Rachel Lewis, and volleyed a shot past their keeper. 

We controlled play throughout the first half and didn’t breakdown defensively, which was very nice to see. We went to halftime with a 2-0 lead.

Our focus for the second half was to maintain the momentum, play with fewer touches and become more unpredictable. The second half began and we continued right where wed left off by controlling play. We scored our third goal in the 50th minute. Suzy Grabko took a shot from 22-yards out but the ball was deflected by a defender and fortunately landed near Stacy Hansen, who found herself behind the entire defense.  Stacy headed it home for our third goal.

Our fourth goal came five minutes later when Heather Langseth was sent through the back of the Vinhedo defense by Katie Ormsbee and Miriam Lombardozzi.  Heather finished the sequence off with a goal to the far post. 

The fifth and final goal started with quick combination play in the left corner.  After the sequence, Ellyn Roach crossed the ball to the far post where Rachel Lewis headed it back across the face of the goal to Kelly Ping who tapped it in. 

The only threat that Vinhedo mounted came with three minutes left in the game. One of their forwards broke through our defense.  Paula (Brazilian goalie that is playing for the Cobbers on the trip) came off her line to make the save but tripped her in the process.  They were awarded a penalty kick and converted on the following kick to make the final score 5-1. 

The game was a great success! The team is improving daily on the practice ground and it is wonderful to see that carrying over onto the game field.  We are looking forward to training, improving, and learning more with each day that passes.

Recap courtesy of Paul Linson - Concordia women's assistant coach

We played 3-30 minute periods against Paulista futbol club. The Paulista men's club team is considered to be one of the best club teams in Brazil. The women are trying to build the same success as the men have.

Period 1 vs. U-17 Paulista
It was a good match to start our game schedule in Brazil. It was back and forth for most of the period with both teams being dangerous at times. 

The field surface was very hard and full of dirt patches, which made it like playing on turf. Getting used to the surface was our biggest difficulty. The first period ended 0-0. 

Period 2 vs. U-19 Paulista
This was also a good match. There were some girls that played on both teams, but for the most part players were different. This match we looked better. We were starting to adjust our touches to accommodate the field surface. In transition we were dangerous, however our final passes were a little off due to the surface. 

We scored our first goal of the trip in transition. It happened when we took possesion of the ball and broke quickly into the offensive end. Morgain Bain penetrated the defense on the wing and was able to serve a ball into the goal area. Jessi Rosenthal did a great job heading the ball down to the feet of MiriamLombardozzi and Miriam finished the pass off with authority. We definitely earned the goal and it was very nice to get our first goal of the trip out of the way. 

We continued to play well throughout the period and much to the shock of the locals, beat the U-19 team 1-0.

Period 3 vs. Paulista Women's Professional Club
This game was a little different. 

The professional team kept possession very well and understood how to attack us right from the start. I think it helped that they were able to watch us play for the first two periods. They knew how to throw us off with their passing and movement. 

Another factor in the period was the obvious effect of having already played for 60 minutes, while the professional team was fresh and just getting started. 

They ended up taking advantage of our tired legs and our over anxiousness at trying to win the ball back by "diving in" at the person with the ball while we played defense. 

The professional team had multiple chances to score. They had several players that were very dangerous in the offensive end of the field.

We are without a goalkeeper for the trip, so the BRUSA people have given us a player from one of the local teams. She played awesome in the final 30 minutes, making nine outstanding saves. 

Even though we were giving up opportunities on defense, we were able to create scoring chances of our own and caught their defense flat on their heels on a couple of times and almost knocked in a pair of goals through our transition gamed almost knocked in a couple of goals on quick transitions. 

I was very proud of how the team battled through the final 30 minutes against professional players and having only been in the country for a little over a day.

In the end we wound up allowing three goals, but the level of play that we witnessed will help us for the rest of the trip and especially in the fall. You can see the girls' eyes light up when we have success with something different or one of the Brazilian players does something special with the ball. It is a great feeling to see a team continue to grow together and learn that soccer is the world's game!!

Overall, the coaching staff was very happy with the first competition and we can't wait until the players acclimate  even more to the weather, travel, etc. This trip will help the team on so many levels. It is going to be a very exciting two weeks!! 

On a side note - the kids down here are our greatest fans. They love to watch our matches and love to throw lit firecrackers on the field. I think they were actually shooting at us. That is a little different from the fans back in the States but it is part of having such passionate soccer (futbol) followers. 

If you have any comments or would like to pass along best wishes to the team as they travel in Brazil, please e-mail the Concordia sports information department at:


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