By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
To say Allison Sample had a memorable summer would be an understatement.
The Susquehanna senior, a defender on the Crusaders' women's lacrosse team, spent her summer in the Czech Republic as a part of Susquehanna's Global Opportunities program which requires each student to complete a cross-cultural experience off campus before they graduate.
While in Prague, Sample was a part of the Global Players program which brings players from around the globe together to play lacrosse.
"I wanted to be able to keep playing (lacrosse) while I was away and get as much experience as possible," Sample said.
Sample received word about the Prague program from Ally Bauer, a former teammate at Susquehanna who had participated in the program and had a positive experience while in Europe.
"(The trip) gave me a different perspective on (lacrosse) in a way," Sample said. "I played with girls from all over the world with different playing levels."
Sample said that the European style of lacrosse is more aggressive than lacrosse state-side which helped to push her as an athlete and raise her game to a new level.
Sample added that the trip allowed her to gauge her current level of play against experienced athletes while also having a chance to teach players who had recently starting playing lacrosse.
"(The Global Players) team was very close," said Sample, who is from Windham, Maine. "Everyone was helping each other."
While with her Global Players team, Sample played in the Berlin Open in June, recognized as one of the largest lacrosse tournaments in Europe.
"That was awesome," Sample said. "It was really cool to get to meet so many athletes from around the world."
As part of the tournament experience, Sample and her teammates bonded with the players from other teams off of the field.
Sample remarked that the people she met and connected with during her stay in the Czech Republic has stayed with her the most in the time since she returned.
"Everyone was so friendly; there were no cliques," Sample said. "It was pretty much a family experience."
In the round-robin tournament, the Global Players squad finished fourth overall after playing six games against teams from across Europe.
Away from lacrosse, Sample had the chance to explore Europe and experience the culture and history.
Now that Sample is once again in the United States, she returned to a Susquehanna team coming off of the most successful season in program history with 17 wins and a trip to the NCAA Division III tournament.
Last season, Sample appeared in nine games off of the bench for head coach Laura Moan and has seen steady playing time in each of her three years for the Crusaders.
"I just want to know (that) I did everything I could," Sample said. "I want to know that my final season was the best that I could do and hopefully everyone takes that same attitude. I think if everyone works their hardest, we'll go really far this year."