After a long tournament the day before, we all woke up excited to visit the King of Prussia Mall, which is the second biggest in the US! We checked out of West Chester University and after boarding the coach arrived to the sight of Dicks Sporting Goods, which greatly excited everyone. Laden with bags we then headed to Downtown Philadelphia to learn a bit more about the history of America, visit the Liberty Bell and grab some ice cream on the way. After negotiating some surprisingly narrow roads, by American standards, we began a successful and productive two hour training session at Springside Chestnut Hill High School in the sweltering heat. When the training was finished we had the opportunity to meet our billets for the first time. We split up to spend two nights at their beautiful houses, fully equipped with gyms and swimming pools which gave our tired legs a well deserved rest.
Having spent a great night with our hosts, including breakfasts consisting of bacon, Nutella and French toast, we made our way to the steps in Philadelphia where the film Rocky is set. We raced to the top, posed for plenty of photos, then, full of excitement, re-boarded the bus for St Joseph’s University, just a short drive away. We were met in the sweltering heat by four coaches, all with buckets of experience, including a couple who played for the USA national team. They took us through a whistle-stop tour of invaluable skills, such as stick handling, shooting, and catching at full stretch. The fantastic 2 hour clinic concluded with the challenge of scoring a goal within 15 seconds from the draw, which helped us with our quick movement of the ball.
Dripping with sweat, we took a well-deserved shower before heading off for lunch. Whole Foods was taken over by 36 hungry girls, who then spent a few hours relaxing in the park nearby. We then returned to Radnor, where we played Steps, the club of our hosts. The Bs began with a strong start, but faced some tough opposition, and narrowly lost 12-10. Nevertheless, the improvement in teamwork from the Grind tournament was evident. The As followed this with a fantastic performance, and won with a score of 13-9 against a great Steps team. These tiring matches were rewarded with a second night spent at our billets, who fuelled us ready for the next day!