This past summer, senior women's lacrosse player Danielle Edwards (Horseheads, N.Y.) and junior teammate Leanne Musso (Auburn, N.Y.) spent two weeks competing abroad in Australia with USA Athletes International, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to giving amateur athletes and coaches the opportunity to compete internationally.

“I was very excited about their opportunity to play competitively abroad,” said Binghamton head coach Emily Edmonston. “To be selected to act ambassadors to represent not only Binghamton University, but the United States as well, while they compete, was a tremendous honor.”

Danielle and Leanne took a break from their busy schedules earlier this fall - to sit down with BU's Athletic Communications Office to talk about everything from competing overseas to learning how to surf, some 10,265 miles away from the Vestal campus.

Q: How did you find about about this opportunity?

All the players that participated in the program were all at some point recommended by coaches here in the states. They got in touch with Coach Edmonston and she let us know the exciting news!

Q: Was this the furthest you had ever been away from home?

Both: Last year's spring break trip to West Palm Beach, Florida, for the Spring Fling tournament was the furthest either of has been.

Q: Did you get homesick?

So much! I think I called my parents every single day I was down there.

Leanne: At first I was a little, but it got better.

Q:The biggest cultural difference between Australia and U.S.?

Definitely the food. I am a very picky eater, so it was quite the struggle finding something I liked to eat.

Just walking around it was amazing how clean everything was. The food took getting used to at first as well.

Q: What was your biggest thrill/favorite moment from the trip?

Danielle: My favorite part was learning how to surf. It was my first time. Now I am just itching to do it again.

Leanne: The trips to wildlife sanctuary were fun. We got to feed the kangaroos and see koalas, which was definitely a first. Surfing was so much fun too!

Q: What have you taken most from this experience?

Leanne: It was amazing just to meet so many new friends, coaches, teammates.

Danielle: I think both Leanne and I truly made some life long friends. A couple of the girls on the trip actually play for Stony Brook. At first, we thought it might be a bit strange because we are rivals on the field, but over the course of the trip they were the ones we became closest with.

Leanne: We still keep in touch a lot and are really looking forward to playing them this spring.

Q: As a player, what was most different competing against players from different countries?

The style of play was much more aggressive and fast-paced. Also, it was the first time I had ever played for a male coach before.

Leanne: One of the teams we played against, the Australian National Under 19 Team, actually contended for World Cup. It definitely opened up our eyes to a new level of competition.

Q: How did you spend the rest of your summer?

Ugh, it was back to work for me and just getting ready for my senior year.

Leanne: Same here, I coached at a couple of camps and to worked to stay in shape for the fall season.

The Binghamton women's lacrosse team opens up its 2007 season in Fairfield, CT. on Feb. 25 against Sacred Heart University.

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