SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Three members of the Sacramento State women's soccer team have gained valuable international experience this spring. The duo of Raylene Larot and Shelby Salvacion both represented the Philippines at the Asia Women's Cup while goalkeeper Shelby Tomasello began her professional career in Iceland.
Salvacion and Larot began their tenure with the Philippine national team, known as the Malditas, with a training session in Southern California. The duo then made the trip to Manilla for additional training before heading to Dhaka, Bangladesh for three games.
The Philippines were part of Group B in the Asia Women's Cup where only the group winner advanced to the AWC finals. The Malditas opened with a 6-0 win over Iran on May 21 before dropping a 1-0 decision to Thailand two days later. Their final game came on May 25 where the Philippines defeated Bangladesh, 4-0.
Despite a 2-1 overall record an a 10-1 goal differential, the team team finished second in the pool to Thailand.
Tomasello, who completed her senior season with the Hornets in the fall, is currently playing for Höttur in Egilsstadir, Iceland. Tomasello arrived in Iceland on May 21 and jumped into action on the 24th where Höttur won 3-0. The team added a 5-0 shutout four days later. The team is scheduled to play 14 games during the regular season which will conclude on Aug. 23.
The opportunity for Tomasello to play in Iceland arose through connections of her personal goalie trainer. After sending out several e-mails to teams in the league, she was offered an opportunity to play with Höttur.
"After talking to (the coach) for only two days, she offered me a spot," Tomasello said. "Two weeks later, I had my flight booked, had to quit my job and get an expedited passport."
If the seven hour time difference wasn't hard enough for Tomasello to adjust to, she also is working to overcome the language barrier with her coaches and teammates.
"Our pregame and halftime talks are in Icelandic so I have no idea what they are talking about," she said. "If I have a question or want to make a comment, I'll just say it and they kind of understand. The first game was really hard for me because I couldn't pronounce anybody's name or even knew who was who."