Friend or Foe? Terp Mates Turn Rivals
by Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff
The University of Maryland, just a few miles from the nation's capital, has always had a considerable international student population, but perhaps never quite like this. Three players on the Terrapin women's lacrosse team have turned in their red and white for their respective national team uniforms, going from teammates to rivals in as little time as it takes to get dressed.
Caitlyn McFadden (USA), Laura Merrifield (England) and Sarah Mollison (Australia) helped Maryland to an unbeaten regular season and ACC championship, but they'll compete against each other in Prague.
"It's fun being teammates with both of them, but in Prague I will be sure not to pass them the ball by mistake," said Mollison, a Melbourne, Australia, native who helped Australia to the 2005 World Cup championship despite being just 18 at the time.
McFadden, a junior midfielder, did her share of scouting during the season.
"Laura is impossible to stop one on one, and Sarah is great at feeding off the dodge. They're both great finishers," she said.
Merrifield used her 6-foot-1 frame to score 43 goals in the regular season, third-best on the team. But her teammates took note of Merrifield, who hails from Hertfordshire, England, long before ACC rivals did.
"She makes normal speech sound very proper," said McFadden. "Sometimes she doesn't mean to be funny, but she'll word things so differently it gives us all a good laugh."
"From day one, Laura and I have had a lot to talk about," said Mollison. "Being at Maryland with her is comforting, as we share the similarity of being from another country."
All three now share the common goal of wanting to bring the World Cup back to their respective countries.
Maryland isn't the only school featuring a juxtaposition of international players. Loyola head coach Jen Adams, who led Australia to the 2005 gold medal, will find herself squaring off against her assistant coaches, Canada's Dana Dobbie and Kylee White.
In fact, college lacrosse fans will recognize a number of players who will suit up for international squads. FIL rules permit transplants and descendants to play on their home country's teams.
Among the current U.S. collegians to play for other nations:
Katie Brooks - North Carolina - Canada
Alana Chan - George Mason - Canada
Mandee Friend - Richmond - Canada
Kalley Greer - Hamilton - Canada
Allison Hubschmann - Georgetown - Czech Republic
Hannah Nielsen - Northwestern - Australia
A record 16 teams will be competing in the FIL Women's World
Cup. The teams are divided into pools for round-robin play before
tournament play decides the champion.
World Cup History
1982 - Champion: USA; Runner-up: Australia (in Nottingham,
1986 - Champion: Australia; Runner-up: USA (in Philadelphia, Pa.)
1989 - Champion: USA; Runner-up: England (in Perth, Australia)
1993 - Champion: USA; Runner-up: England (in Edinburgh, Scotland)
1997 - Champion: USA; Runner-up: Australia (in Tokyo, Japan)
2001 - Champion: USA; Runner-up: Australia (in High Wycombe, England)
2005 - Champion: Australia; Runner-up: USA (in Annapolis, Md.)