SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Members of the Mount Holyoke College soccer team will open their 2017 preseason on the road with a training trip to Japan. The Lyons will spend ten days overseas, competing in a number of friendly matches against local squads, while also exploring the sights around the country. The team embarks on the journey on August 19 and will return to the U.S. on August 28.
The trip marks the first for the Lyons since January of 2014 when 15 members of the squad journeyed over to Japan during the intersession. This year, Mount Holyoke will participate in a number of activities, including sightseeing around Tokyo, and visiting a number of museums and historical sights.
Additionally, the Lyons will get themselves ready for the 2017 campaign with a number of friendly matches against local Japanese teams. MHC will square off against Daito Bunka, Juntendo University, Tsukuba University, Yamanashi and the Bridge Program team.
Mount Holyoke will also participate in a Women's Sport Panel Discussion through the Juntendo University Women's Sports Research Center. Lyons' senior midfielder and captain Suz Rose (South Hamilton, Mass./Hamilton-Wenham Regional) and sophomore midfielder McKenna Lamb (Redland, Calif./The Webb Schools) will be panelists. The event will focus on a number of different topics, including what it means to be an NCAA student-athlete.
Head coach Kanae Haneishi, who is a native of Japan and a graduate of Juntendo University, continues to have deep ties within her homeland. She helped create the Bridge Program nearly two decades ago. While the Lyons travel to Japan every four years, the Bridge Program ventures to the United States each year to compete against various teams across the nation.
The program has made an annual stop in South Hadley each year for the last 10 years, which has included an intercultural party, language classes, and discussions on women in sport, along with a friendly exhibition match against the Lyons.
This year's trip for Mount Holyoke is expected to be another exciting and education excursion. Upon their return, the Lyons will prepare themselves for regular season play, which will commence that Friday, September 1 as they travel to UMass-Dartmouth for a 1pm match against the Corsairs.
Mount Holyoke takes to its home field for the first of nine games on September 7, hosting Amherst at 7pm.