College of Charleston in Spoleto http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phBs1x20qJI
by Sean Bateau
Spoleto is the sister city to Charleston and as such it felt very special for our team to be there. The Mayor of Spoleto had a reception with the team and in return we presented him with team memorabilia. I felt that it was our duty to represent Charleston well while in Spoleto, and we were nothing short of class acts. The festival of Spoleto is celebrated in Charleston every year and it is still difficult to believe that we had the opportunity to visit the cathedrals, museums and meet the mayor.
Spoleto is similar to Charleston in that it is rich with history. Tourists come from everywhere to part take in the Spoleto festival. Our team felt right at home being in Spoleto. The only difference I felt between Spoleto and Charleston was the terrain. Spoleto had many hills and we had the chance to experience many of them throughout some of our tours of the city.
Spoleto was like a home away from home. Chiavari, Milan, Rome and Momo were amazing in their own right but Spoleto's history was breath taking. The museums were full with original ancient artifacts. Most of the other places we visited had beautiful scenery but the history in Spoleto was just captivating.
Spoleto U19 was a very good team that has quite a few promising young players. Andrew Autenzio got the game opener for us within the first ten minutes off a long throw by Jake and a flick by Branko. Twohig scored the second after collecting the rebound off a Jake Helmig shot. Autenzio capped off an excellent personal performance by scoring his second just before the half. The game ended 3-0 in our favor. Overall the ability for our team to connect passes has developed throughout this trip. In addition, our defense got its first clean sheet. What was most impressive about the Spoleto game was that we now have an attacking identity as a team with Ralphie, Justin, Jake and Branko leading the way. Our midfield is key to our success, and the experience our three seniors along with the skill of Ralphie has helped our team immensely. Although we got the shut out our defense still has some work left.
The College of Charleston English department, led by Brett Lott and Carol Ann Davis, brought a group of students to Spoleto and we were pleasantly surprised that they attended the Spoleto match. It was greatly appreciated by all the players to have some support so far away from home. To show our appreciation the team invited the teachers and students to a reception at the hotel. We all got to know each other and we had an amazing time. It was perfect timing that we were all in Spoleto at the same instance. I think the support helped calm the nerves of the players and it was good to hear supporters who spoke English for a change.
The trip thus far has been nothing short of amazing. The team chemistry has definitely grown and players that were quiet have begun to come out of their shell. Momo and Chiavari were very family oriented towns. Spoleto was beautiful, the people very friendly and the food very delicious. For the 2010 season our team will accepted nothing less than a championship. We are already headed in the right direction with the bonding from this trip, the development of an attacking identity and the belief of the coaches and players.
College of Charleston
Men's Soccer Office