May 22, 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia women’s soccer team hit the pitch on Monday in Caen, France, kicking off a two-week trip through Europe as the squad begins preparations for the 2017 season this fall.

The Cavaliers will play several matches and travel throughout France and Belgium on the two-week trip before returning to the United States. In addition to the competition, the Cavaliers will also take in the sights with visits to historic places including Normandy, Paris and Brussels.

Virginia left for France on Saturday, May 20, and went through the team’s first practice on Monday.

“Every four years you have the opportunity to go overseas and we feel fortunate to have this chance again,” said head coach Steve Swanson. “France is a great place to go because of the caliber of teams there and the quality of soccer played. We’ll also tack on a trip to Belgium, which is a place many of players haven’t had a chance to experience.

“The combination will be great for us from a team-bonding experience, as will the competition and extra time we get to spend together as a team. It’s a great thing the NCAA allows and we feel very fortunate to be able to go. Our administration has been so supportive. The goal is to squeeze as much out of the experience as we can between the games, the time together off the field and the cultural experiences. We’re looking forward to it.”

Virginia last traveled overseas to compete in the summer of 2013 when the Cavaliers took a 12-day trip to England. On that trip, the Cavaliers played three matches against professional teams and split time between London and Manchester, also attending three professional matches as spectators.

The Cavaliers will begin training camp in August with the four members of the incoming recruiting class joining the team for the annual trip to preseason camp in Michigan.