About four years ago, Anna Sody had to make a decision: become a waitress or coach a club lacrosse team in Dusseldorf, Germany.
It was August 2009, and after finishing an additional semester following her graduation from Marymount University the previous winter, Sody decided it was time to get a job.
The Towson native was already a two-time captain for her college's lacrosse team. She led the NCAA Division III in draw controls (7.56 per game) in 2008, her senior year. She knew her playing days were over, though.
But she always wanted to study abroad, and she finally had a chance to go somewhere new.
"So clearly, there wasn't much of a decision to be made," Sody said with a laugh. "I packed two suitcases, moved to Germany, and the rest has been a crazy ride."
Sody, 26, is an assistant coach for the German national women's lacrosse team. She's made her way back to North America, — specifically Oshawa, Ontario — for the Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup.
Her Germany team is 2-3 and begins consolation pool play Wednesday or Thursday.
After the tournament is over, Sody (Towson High) will come home to the Baltimore area for a couple weeks — and will renew her passport — before she assumes the position as head coach at Durham University in the United Kingdom on Sept. 1.
Sody will also remain the women's coaching coordinator of the European Lacrosse Federation. Clearly, there isn't much stopping her moving forward.
"That's exactly the kind of person she is," said Marymount coach Jamie Reynolds, who coached Sody during her junior and senior seasons. "Just the way with her work ethic is, I know she isn't going to fail. She's taking it in stride, and she's done really amazing things."
Sody worked her way up the European coaching ranks after she revolutionized the lacrosse program at Dusseldorf Sport-Club 1899, the club that hired her in 2009.
For a team that never made the German playoffs in its seven-year history, by her second season on the job, Sody had her group finish second in its league — its highest placing ever — and earn a spot in the playoffs. They finished sixth in the nation, and the German Lacrosse Association tabbed her as its Coach of the Year.
She also worked with the German U19 national team starting in 2010, though only a year later — her second in the country — she was promoted to work with the national team in recruiting, budgeting, marketing, strategic planning and its player-selection process.
"Each opportunity that has come up has been amazing," Sody said. "I honestly never thought I could do all of this, so it's been really cool to have everything unfold the way it has."
Her voyage has continued to international levels. As a high-ranking member of the ELF since December 2009, she has taken trips to camps in Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Spain to help spread the sport.
She's about to start life in another country — England — while simultaneously working on a masters' degree. She's down to one suitcase these days.
Sody eventually wants to return home, too, for good. She grew up in Towson and her entire family still lives in the area.
That day will come, but for now, she remains on a journey she started four years ago — one that has taken her around the world.
And she isn't stopping any time soon. Those days of possibly becoming a waitress are long gone.
"Going home after the tournament will be like an early Christmas for me," Sody said. "Enjoy it, take some time off, and then get right back to work in Europe.
"I'm not certain what happens from here, but it's been fun, for sure."
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