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When they weren't playing soccer during their exchange trip to Costa Rica, the girls soccer team from Two Harbors spent hours on the pristine beaches in the Central American country. Photo by Penny Juenemann.

TH soccer players return from Costa Rica

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sports Two Harbors,Minnesota 55616
Lake County News Chronicle
TH soccer players return from Costa Rica
Two Harbors Minnesota 109 Waterfront Dr. 55616

A group of girls from the Two Harbors High School soccer team returned from an exchange trip to Costa Rica Aug. 5 with Central American tans and a week's worth of memories.

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They stayed in Jaco and played three soccer games while there. According to parent and chaperone Penny Juenemann, who updated a team blog while the girls were away, the highlight for many of the players was a pick-up scrimmage with a team of 11- and 12-year-old boys on the third day of the trip.

The girls showed up to a scheduled match, but the opposing team wasn't there. Instead, a team of boys was practicing on the field. The coaches and parents gathered and decided to hold a scrimmage that included the girls and boys. The two teams intermixed and played a fun match together.

"Playing soccer in a country that actually loves the sport is one thing, but what happened last night was fate and absolutely amazing," player Alyssa Nieman said after the game, according to the team's blog. "I loved every second of the whole day. I can now die happy."

In addition to playing soccer, the girls and chaperones spent plenty of time exploring the country, including multiple trips to the beach, taking rides on a zip line trip through the rainforest and tackling a hike through the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Other highlights included watching a professional surfing competition and participating in team bonding games.

They spent the final day on a tour of Tortuga Island before returning home.

Over 20 businesses sponsored the trip and the girls spent months beforehand fundraising.

"Watching my whole team having fun and getting along makes all of the fundraising and work we've put into this completely worth it," player Olivia McCarthy said.

More pictures and information about the trip can be found on the team's blog at