PHOTO GALLERY OF UMBC'S TRIP TO JAPAN, SUMMER 2005
See a few photos of the lacrosse program's journey (see Photo Galleries on left hand side of home page) to the Far East in the summer of 2005.
The Japan trip was one of the best times I have ever had. I think that were those of us who went grew closer together through our experiences there. It was also great to be welcomed as warmly as we were. We were shown a good time everywhere we went and made to feel like we were guests of honor. The players on the other teams seemed to be just as psyched to see us as we were to be there and play against them and try to communicate with them. The most memorable experience for me was the game against the Japanese national team in Edogawa stadium. There was a huge crowd and a great atmosphere. They were there to see a good game so they cheered for us just as loudly as for their own national team. After the game we signed autographs and posed for pictures and got to live out our rock star fantasies of being swarmed by girls and huge crowds for an afternoon. It was a great time and if the opportunity arose to go back with my team I would be near the top of the list to sign up.
- Conor Devlin, sophomore
The Japan trip this summer was the best trip I have ever taken. The Japanese people were extremely nice and treated us like celebrities. It was weird getting used to their culture and finding out about it. After a couple days I learned more and more and started to get the hang of it. I canít say I have a favorite memory because every moment I was there was awesome. I really liked when we beat the Japanese International Team, afterwards a crowd of people wanted our autographs. It was mostly all girls taking pictures of us and getting autographs. They loved us. I felt like I was some big celebrity. If I had a chance to go back I would definitely go in a heart beat.
-Terry Kimener, sophomore
It was an incredible opportunity for us to be able to travel to Japan, experience their culture and traditions, meet new people and make new friends, while growing closer as a team ourselves. In addition to that, playing against their National Team in a packed stadium as part of the International Friendship Games was an awesome experience. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Japanese and especially the Japanese Lacrosse Association. It would be great to afford future Retrievers this same opportunity.
-Bobby Benson, Assistant Coach
I feel very fortunate that we were able to travel over to Japan this past summer. The cultural and lacrosse experiences that our young men encountered were invaluable. Playing a lacrosse game in front of 7,000 people against their national team on Japanese television was a great thrill. Being able to play Japanese colleges, then exchanging gifts with them was satisfying. Culturally, the opportunity to see the city of Tokyo, numerous shrines, learning the art of calligraphy and participating in a traditional Japanese tea party really opened up our horizons. The Japanese people were very receptive to us and took us in as part of their culture. The Japanese Lacrosse Association is a top notch organization building a tremendous love for lacrosse. UMBC is looking forward to continuing the relationship with the Japan Lacrosse Association and looking forward to go back to Japan and getting them to the United States in the next few years.
-Kevin Warne, Assistant Coach
At first things seemed very different. But as we stayed longer, things started to seem normal. All the people riding around on the bikes started to make sense. The food was the toughest part to get used to. Itís not the huge portions that we are used to in America. Instead, it is sensible portions that are meant to fill you, not stuff you. The lacrosse was very different also. Everyone played very intensely, even though their skill level was not quite to par with ours. Overall, it was a great experience. Japan is not the type of place that I could have seen myself going to on my own. Therefore I feel very fortunate that I had the chance to experience Japan with my teammates.
-Luke Powell, senior
The most memorable moment for me in Japan was our team being introduced before thousands of fans when we played the Japanese National team with the announcer screaming our names. It was awesome, looking around and seeing thousands of people cheering and yelling. Than after the game the fans treated us like celebrities, asking for autographs and pictures, it was a lot of fun.
-James Hyland, senior
The Japan trip was a very memorable experience. We were treated extremely well by not only players and coaches but the entire country. The plane trip over was a lot of fun for the first eight hours. The social life at night in Japan was like nothing we had ever experienced. I thought we gave the sport of lacrosse a chance to expand through the country of Japan when we played the international games.
-Brendan Mundorf, senior