Princeton Plays in Costa Rica, Hofstra at Games in Tokyo

Following the scrimmage, the Pride conducted a lacrosse clinic for 200 budding lacrosse players varying in age but mostly college freshman. Despite the obvious language issues at times, the translator and the game itself broke down any barriers. Our players split up into 11 different teaching stations and did a fantastic job.

At the end of the clinic the Hofstra players gave out clinic prizes, courtesy of our corporate partners and friends at Warrior Lacrosse. Some of the students who attended the clinic left with Warrior sticks, gloves, and stick head. The players are off to another night of "homestays" and more of the flavor of Japan before tomorrow's contest against the Japanese National Team.

Sunday, June 3
Today ended our two nights of "homestays" and we all have great memories and will have many friendships in the years ahead for our trip. The time has arrived for the "main event" of our trip, the contest against the Japanese National Team. While we didn't keep score of our game against the Under 20 Tokyo Select All-Star Team yesterday, apparently the Japanese Lacrosse Association did and published it. While we won easily, we hope the experience the Tokyo All-Stars had will go a long way in their development, individually and as a team. Today's game against the National Team of Japan will be a lot different. Japan is improving in leaps and bounds and we are looking forward to a close game.

The Pride staff arrived at Edogawa Stadium with JLA staff and met the Hofstra team on the field at 11:00 a.m. with all of our belongings. We would be going back to the hotel tonight. But the Opening Ceremonies of the 23rd International Lacrosse Friendship Games was up first. Edogawa City Mayor Masami Tada and JLA President Hiroshi Kimura, the Japanese Men's National Team, the Women's National A and B squad and Hofstra participating. Coach Tierney spoke for more than three minutes to the crowd of approximately 4,000.

An elementary school band provided pregame music and we thought it was really cool when they played the respective national anthems. Formal pregame introductions had an NCAA Championship Tournament feel.

As expected, the game itself was exciting and a battle. The Japanese National Team was very good and will turn some heads at the next World Championships. You can see that they work hard for excellence. It was a spirited and exciting game and we came out with a hard-fought, 11-10 victory. What a surprise-the Pride was involved in another one-goal decision!

Senior Mike DeNapoli was named the Most Valuable Player and received a special presentation. He also addressed the crowd and thanked them for the award and their support of the game of lacrosse.

Everyone returned to the hotel, showered, changed and attended a farewell dinner with the host families and the Japan team as well. I believe it is the unanimous feeling that we will carry the memories of this trip and the friendships that we made for the rest of our lives. The team had a great time and enjoyed our new friendships a little more after the dinner.

Tomorrow (Monday) is a day of sightseeing before a busy Tuesday with games against three college teams.

Monday, June 4
After the excitement of yesterday's game against the Japanese National Team, Monday was a "down-day" for the Hofstra group. With everybody back together in the Prince Hotel, the team convened at 11:00 a.m. and took a chartered bus to Kamakura, a city located about 31 miles from Tokyo.

Kamakura has many historically significant Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, some of them, like Sugimoto-dera, over 1,200 years old. K˘toku-in, with its monumental outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha, is the most famous. A 15th century tsunami destroyed the temple that once housed the Great Buddha, but the statue survived and has remained outdoors ever since. This iconic Daibutsu is arguably amongst the few images which have come to represent Japan in the world's collective imagination. Kamakura also hosts the so-called Five Great Zen Temples

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