Babson College women's soccer team tours Portugal
After undergoing surgery to repair torn labrums on both hips following the 2011 season, Babson College senior Amy Festa was eagerly awaiting a training and sightseeing trip to Portugal with the women’s soccer team this summer.
“I literally got medical clearance to play the day we left,'' said the former Medfield High three-sport athlete, who joined 20 teammates on the weeklong trip to Lisbon and Costa da Caparica that ended on Aug. 12.
“Now I'm ready for the season, which is even more important because I'm a senior cocaptain and I want to help make it a special year,'' said Festa, who has the versatility to play either forward or midfield, and is a two-way threat as a shooter and distributor, especially in transition.
Although no stranger to the trainer's room, Festa played in every game last fall for the Beavers (11-5-2), who advanced to the quarterfinals of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference tournament. She registered four goals and four assists, was first-team all-conference selection, and a third team all-New England pick.
“I think Amy has come back stronger than ever in terms of speed and agility,” said Babson coach Nellie Pinault. “She's gone through a lot but has never complained and our team looks up to her. She brings a presence and great vision to the field and plays with a purpose.
“For Amy and the rest of our team, the Portugal trip was a great opportunity, especially for the seniors because our last training trip out of the country was to Bermuda in 2008,” added the coach. “Even though we play different styles, soccer is still a universal game and during our game and training session in Portugal that bond was evident.”
Babson players and staff went on a Go Cars Tour of Lisbon, took surfing lessons, played an exhibition game against Dezembro, a top women's semipro team, and visited the Sporting Club de Portugal, training headquarters of the country's best teams.
There, they participated in drills conducted by Portuguese coaches and watched training videos. “It got us together in a soccer-rich environment to train for the sport we love, and experience firsthand how another area of the world sees the game,” said Festa.
“Everything we did there was team-oriented and those shared experiences translated into even stronger relationships and team chemistry,” said Festa, who was a first team all-conference and all-New England selection as a freshman when she netted a career-high 11 goals.
“It was unbelievable to see how passionate the people of Portugal are about soccer,” she added. “Having the chance to train in that kind of environment and experience the culture first-hand was incredible.”
According to Festa, who played with a touring Division 3 all-star team last year in Brazil, Babson players have put up banners in their locker room as mementos of the trip.
After her return to the Wellesley campus, the 5-foot-9 Festa (19 career goals, 10 assists) played in scrimmages against Roger Williams and Stonehill in preparation for this weekend's Heron Classic opener in New York. The Beavers play William Smith on Friday and Ithaca on Saturday.
She is joined on the roster by sophomore keeper Melina Kapotsis (Watertown High) and forward Caroline McManus (Newton Country Day).
“Melina brings a tremendous work ethic to practice,” added Pineault, “and Caroline, who also plays lacrosse, is among a talented group of seniors who have contributed to our success.”
Newton’s Mount Ida College will unveil its new turf field and updated facilities Friday evening when the football team hosts nonleague foe University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Mount Ida was 6-5 last season, 5-2 in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference.
“Playing under the lights on the new field for the first time is an exciting moment for all of us,” said Mustangs team captain Matt Bonomolo. “We want to celebrate loud and proud by bringing home a victory.”
Thefacility features all-season turf, energy efficient lighting, and new stands, press box and scoreboard, and has been named Alumni Field.
The “Light the Night” ceremonies, to begin at 5:30, will include a student pep rally, donor reception, and ribbon-cutting. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
The college’s president, Barry Brown, and Newton Mayor Setti Warren will participate in the coin toss.
in Burton’s honor
Natick resident David Chapin will embark on his 12th annual bike ride Saturday to benefit the Ron Burton Training Village in Hubbardston.
Chapin, 50, and his son, David Jr., will pedal 25 miles from Bowditch Field in Framingham to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, starting at 8 a.m.
The fund-raising effort, which garnered about $1,000 last year, honors Burton, the former New England Patriots running back who died in 2003 after a long battle with cancer.
Burton, who founded the Framingham Pop Warner program with Patriots teammates LarryGarron and Charlie Long, waived Chapin's registration fee because his family couldn't afford it.
“I'll do this as long as I'm able,” said Chapin, who works at CVS in the Natick Mall, “because of Ron's kindness.”
Established in 1985 by Burton and his family, the training village is a 300-acre facility that hosts a summer sports and academic camp for urban youngsters. For information about pledges or donations, call Chapin at 508-740-1948 or 508-315-7324, or Garron at 508-879-5652.
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com.