May 19, 1997
Down Under Means Move Up for Terp Women
With Australian Pair, UM Seeks Third Title
By Katherine Dunn
In the two weeks since the United States defeated Australia for the women's lacrosse World Cup championship, Sarah Forbes and Sascha Newmarch have taken plenty of ribbing from their Maryland teammates.
The teasing doesn't bother these Australian Terps.
"I just keep on saying that if Sarah and I were there, the results would have been different," Newmarch said, laughing.
That's not as far-fetched as it might sound. Forbes and Newmarch played in the 1993 World Cup as teen-agers.
But after helping the Terps to back-to-back NCAA Division I titles, they decided to skip this year's World Cup and stick with Maryland.
"It was a difficult decision," said Forbes, a senior, "but Maryland has been so good to me.
"There's no way I would want to pass up the opportunity to play in another national championship game. There'll be other World Cups."
Forbes and Newmarch are hoping to lead the Terps to their third straight national title. Maryland will face Temple in this afternoon's NCAA semifinal at 3 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.
Over the past two years, the 5-foot-10 All-Americans have emerged as perhaps the most physically dominant midfield combination in Division I.
While Forbes draws most of the attention with her explosive speed and powerful shot, Newmarch is equally effective in a quiet, consistent manner.
The two have combined for 99 goals and 46 assists this season.
Forbes, who ranks second on the single-season scoring list with 54 goals and 36 assists, has led the Terps in scoring nine times this season. Newmarch, a junior, has led the team in six of its past eight games.
Although Forbes, 22, and Newmarch, 23, grew up far apart -- Forbes in Perth on Australia's west coast and Newmarch in West Lakes in the south -- they have played against each other in club matches since they were 13.
Maryland coach Cindy Timchal spotted them on an Australian national team tour of the United States in 1992.
"I love the way the Australians play lacrosse," Timchal said.
"The one time we hosted the World Cup in 1986, the Australians ended up winning. They just were very fit, very fast, very competitive, had excellent stickwork.
"They were a notch or two ahead of the stickwork qualities that the U.S. players had and they had a very healthy perspective on competition."
Forbes and Newmarch have maintained that perspective, smiling even through last month's upset by Loyola that ended the Terps' remarkable 50-game winning streak.
"A good friend told me that that loss reminds us of what winning's all about, and seriously, it does," Newmarch said.
"After winning 50 straight games, we needed something like that to appreciate what we had accomplished."
The Australians have accomplished a great deal more. Both are excellent students and will return home with degrees -- Forbes in marine biology and Newmarch in marketing and logistics.
They've also learned to deal with such things as cold weather, traffic jams and junk food.
Forming friendships with other international students has helped. Forbes rooms with lacrosse teammate Caryl Duckworth, who is from England, and Newmarch rooms with Nadine Bennett, a field hockey player from Zimbabwe.
"It's just nice to have people around you who are going through the same experiences you are," said Forbes, who also went to a final four with the Terps' field hockey team.
Forbes and Newmarch have enjoyed Maryland so much that they highly recommend it to players back home. One has already followed them -- freshman Trisha Adams.
"You never get to experience anything like this at home," Newmarch said. "Even if you go to college, you live with your parents still and you go to the college that's 10 minutes away.
"You don't travel places. Just to experience the American lifestyle as well as lacrosse is something that you never forget."