Lacrosse Team Travels to Japan

Posted: June 14, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The women’s lacrosse team leaves today for an 11-day tour of Japan. Once overseas, they will participate in the International Friendship Games, playing against under-21 and club teams in a once-in-a-lifetime trip that combines athletics, culture, and sightseeing. The team will play two games in venues that seat as many as 10,000 spectators–the Global Arena in Fukuoka on June 18 and Toyota Field in Nagoya on June 25.

One of the travelers, head coach Amy Umbach, is familiar with Japan. She visited Tokyo as part of a coaching exchange in 1996. Now she gets to return with 21 players and two assistant coaches.

“This trip was set up through the Japanese Lacrosse Association, which approached us about participating in the International Friendship Games,” Umbach explains. “We have been planning this the entire academic year. They are paying for our travel within the country and our accommodations with host families, so we really just had to pay our way over there.”

The team raised money by hosting various clinics, including a highly successful winter clinic and league. “We want to do our part by helping develop the sport of women’s lacrosse around the world,” says Umbach. “Lacrosse is gaining popularity in Japan and it has a team represented in the World Games. Our players are feeling all of the emotions as we get ready–some are anxious, some are nervous, but everyone is excited. Two of our players have never been in a plane. They are eager to see the Japanese culture and they know it will be unlike any place they have been before.”

Write to at