Hokies reflect on ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ trip

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As the World Cup continues in France, Virginia Tech women’s soccer is reflecting back on its own trip abroad.

The Hokies traveled to Costa Rica earlier this year and while the experience itself lasted nine days, the tiny nation in Central America left a lasting impression on the team.

“It was a one-of-a-kind experience,” senior goalkeeper Mandy McGlynn.

McGlynn’s mind is flooded with memories from Costa Rica. And much of them have little to do with soccer and have more to do with zip-lining and surfing.

“(Ziplining) was probably my favorite experience,” McGlynn said. “We were like 3,000 feet above sea level. It was crazy.”

McGlynn also recalls going to a local farm and having dinner made for the team by a local family.

“That was really cool just to see the culture,” McGlynn said.

But don’t call the trip a vacation. The Hokies were put to work, giving back to a local school.

And on the pitch, Virginia Tech took on a unique opponent — the Costa Rica national team.

“It was a real eye-opening event for us,” head coach Chugger Adair said. “I mean as far as the competition goes, there were some experienced players that were there so you know the level was tremendous for us with that national team game. And I think it was a great opportunity for us to play at a national team training facility can see how its done in a different culture.”

Nine memorable days in Costa Rica that the Hokies hope will bring the players closer to each other than they’ve ever been before.

“Just the travel the time together,” Adair said. “Having to experience different cultures and different lifestyles.”

McGlynn thinks the trip could pay off dividends on the field next season.

“That’s going to help our chemistry and connectivity on the field coming up this season,” McGlynn said.

From Central America to Southwest Virginia, the trip provided moments to cherish for a lifetime.

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