COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland field hockey team welcomes Rachel Frusher of Perth, Western Australia this season. Frusher, a defender, first heard about the Terps from someone very familiar with the program - two-time NCAA champion and NFHCA All-American, Jemma Buckley (2010-11).
"I first heard of University of Maryland when I roomed with Jemma last year at training," Frusher said. "She was telling me all about it and she just loved it. I heard about how great it was, so I thought I'd give it a try."
It wasn't long after that conversation with Buckley that head coach Missy Meharg ended up making contact with Frusher, who had come up through the Australian state system and was a member of the Under-23 Developmental Squad. Eventually, Frusher and her family came for a visit to College Park this spring to see for themselves.
"Missy was so intriguing when we first started speaking," Frusher said. "She was so eager to know about me and also to tell me so much about Maryland. I came here in March for a visit and then went home. I just knew I wanted to come when I saw everything. All of the facilities were so amazing and everyone was so nice. I felt like if I'm moving so far away, I'd have people here that cared."
Frusher has completed two years at Penrhos College and will work on her degree in kinesiology.
"Rachel is one of Australia's top junior, under-21 defenders," Meharg said. "She transferred here and will finish her degree in kinesology here at the University of Maryland because of our program, the opportunity to experience a new culture and the opportunity to be a leader. She's got a lot of courage. She's from the same hometown as Jemma and when she heard about it from Jemma, it was intriguing to her. She's innovative. One thing about hockey, and soccer, in the world is that a lot of teams play the same. I think Rachel was looking for something different to experience through sport to take back with her to her country."