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Women's Soccer News & Highlights

February 07, 2014

Eagles to Return to Africa in 2014

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Current Senior Michelle Brown has her hair braided by girls in a school for orphans outside of Lusaka. In 2011, the Eagles visited several schools and institutions in Zambia that served the needs of the hundreds of thousands of children left without parents because of AIDS.

Eastern University Women’s Soccer will make a third trip to Africa this coming May. The Eagles went to South Africa in 2008 and Zambia in 2011. This year’s trip to Zambia will give the Eastern players an opportunity to see soccer in another part of the world and to experience a culture that is very different from their own. The Eastern team will spend time in the city of Lusaka, in the village of Macha, and will wrap up the trip in Livingstone.

“The opportunity to return to Zambia is great for our program,” head coach Dan Mouw stated. “I love that our players will have the chance to share a common love of the game and will be able to see the work of the church in Africa. Players who went on the first two trips shared common experiences that brought the group closer together and, in many cases, were life-changing.”

While in Zambia, the Eagles will be hosted by Eric and Corie Thuma. They are working full-time with Push the Rock in Zambia. Corie (Brant) Thuma was a four-year starter for the Eagles at left back and was one of the key individuals in inspiring the trip to South Africa in 2008.

“In her freshman year, Corie and some of her teammates suggested that we should travel internationally as a team,” Mouw related. “When I asked where we should go, they came back with ‘Africa.’ So three years later we went to South Africa. The trip was a tremendous adventure that brought our team closer together and was influential in helping our program take a big step forward in 2008.”  

This year’s group has been working since last year in fundraising for the trip. Players and many family members worked a week in a concession stand at the US Open at Merion this summer, and are currently gathering support for their ‘100 Hours of Service’ fundraiser. The idea of the 100 hours of service, according to Mouw, is to gather support of friends and family for the trip while investing time in the local community. Each Eastern player is asking for support per hour worked by the team. The team intends to give 100 hours of service through the department's relationship with City Team Ministries.

“I think the 100 Hours project does a couple great things,” Mouw continued. “Our players are able to bring people into partnership as they travel, we are brought closer together as we serve, and we are able to provide some benefit to those in need in and around our community.”

While in Zambia, the Eagles will play games against local teams, engage in sports ministry through youth clinics, and will be able to see the work that the local church and missionaries are doing as Zambians respond to their everyday challenges of poverty and disease. Zambia, like many nations in sub-Saharan Africa, is highly susceptible to fluctuations in the world-market prices of key export commodities and has experienced tremendous loss from the spread of HIV and AIDS.

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Corie Thuma in South Africa in 2008. As a member of the class of 2009, Thuma (then Brant) played a major role in getting Eastern Soccer to Africa for the first time. Thuma and her husband Eric will serve as Eastern's hosts in Zambia.

“There is a reality that clicks in when you are in a school that is serving meals from an outdoor kitchen to 200 or so orphans,” Mouw said. “It completely changes your understanding of the impact of AIDS and poverty. In this, the trip really supports the goals of the University in the integration of Faith, Reason, and Justice. We hope to encourage those who are currently working there and to provide our student athletes with an experience that will create a lasting impression that will influence the way we understand the work of the Kingdom.”

In addition to playing and serving, the Eagles will have the opportunity to observe a malaria research clinic in Macha and to see some of the natural wonders of Africa in its wildlife and Victoria Falls. With many of the current roster enrolled in programs in the health sciences, the clinic could prove to be a highlight in seeing how science can work in community development and the spread of the Gospel.

Eastern Women’s Soccer will be hosting youth play days and a Goalie Wars day to help raise funds.

To support Eastern Women’s Soccer in either the 100 Hours Fundraiser or through direct donation, contact Dan Mouw at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Updated: Thursday, 22 May 2014

Coaches

Dan Mouw

Dan Mouw

Dan Mouw enters his twelfth season at the helm of Eastern Women's Soccer in 2014.

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