Name: Samantha Wagg
Sport: Field Hockey
Federation: Hockey Victoria
Entry year to US college: 2015
College/University: University of Maine
Study: Marine Biology
Accolades: Led her 2011 U15 Australian squad to a gold medal at the indoor championships before guiding her U18 Victorian State Team to three-straight silver medals. In 2014, her U18 outdoor team earned a bronze showing. In her first year at the University of Maine, Samantha has played in 22 games for the Black Bears and been named America East Rookie of the Week twice (9/14 & 9/21).
How has your U.S. college experience been so far?
It has been really good. The first few weeks were tough, being so far away from home. The second semester was definitely a lot better. The whole year has been a great experience. My hockey has been awesome as well. I think it has made me a better player because of all the training we do, you’re just so dedicated to the hockey there, as well as your school. It’s just something that you can’t do in Australia, you can’t play hockey at that kind of level and go to school at the same time.
Do you think you would’ve tried to go on this adventure without NSR?
I was thinking about going to America but I didn’t have the connections. NSR made that a lot easier with being able to contact people. They kind of did it for us in a way. I didn’t have the contacts so I probably would’ve stayed here if it wasn’t for NSR and this opportunity.
What advice would you give to future NSR prospects about following this pathway?
I would say that it’s going to be tough, but in the long run it’ll be absolutely worth it. It’s one of those things that you get one chance to do in a lifetime and to be able to do it is amazing.
What has been the best thing about your experience so far?
I think just the opportunity to be over in another country and being able to play a sport that I love and study at the same time. In breaks I can go and travel as well.
What have you achieved so far on and off the field?
With my studies, it has helped me figure out more what I want to do; continue with Marine Biology. It will get more specific in the next couple of years. With my hockey, it has given me the chance to get better as a player and experience a different type of hockey. They do play a lot differently. It’s all the stuff that goes into the game before playing that’s different, as far as training, gym work and conditioning goes.
How did your parents feel about you going to college in the US on your own for such a long time?
They were very supportive, they thought it was a great experience. Of course they miss me but they supported me 100%.