Each week, The Baltimore Sun will publish a Q&A with an area college lacrosse player to get you more acquainted with the player and his/her team. Today's guest is Maryland All-American senior goalie Brittany Dipper, who has allowed just 4.5 goals per game and has a .654 save percentage through the first three games. A starter on the 2010 national championship team, the New Jersey native also started in the goal for the Terrapins' national champion field hockey team when she was a freshman but opted to concentrate on lacrosse after that.
How long have you been a lacrosse goalie?
Since my freshman year in high school. My freshman year was the first year that we got the (lacrosse) program, and I had played field hockey. I just decided to try lacrosse goalie because I thought it would help me with hand-eye coordination, not thinking it would ever lead into anything.
How did you become a goalie in the first place?
My aunt was a high school field hockey coach, and I remember seeing her coach some games and looking at the goalie and what they have to wear. I was like, "Who would every want to be a goalie? You must be crazy." Then when I started in seventh grade they needed a goalie, and I was like, "Oh well, I'll try it out," and it just kind of fit with me.
A lot of players graduated from your defense, so as a veteran, what role do you play in helping a young defense rebuild in front of you?
Building their confidence and being able to be a leader for them on and off the field. If they have problems or have questions about things, being able to answer them. Just trying to build their confidence is the biggest thing right now, getting them to realize that they belong out there and that they can compete against anyone in the nation.
Maryland has started off 3-0, but how much tougher does the competition get when you travel to No. 5 Duke on Saturday?
Duke's going to be a very competitive game. I think we're all really excited for our first ACC game, but we're not focusing on who it is, just how we play our Maryland style of lacrosse. It's going to be a great game — just so competitive. Right now, we just want to focus on the little things and not worry about who they are as a team. It's going to be challenging, but we're excited and we're ready for it, and I'm sure they will be ready.
What's the best thing about being Maryland's lacrosse goalie?
There's so many things. I just think the team in general, my teammates and my coaches. Our coaching staff is amazing. They care about us so much, and whatever we need, they're there for us. My teammates, we all just love each other, and it's being one big happy family. Our chemistry is amazing, and that's what sets us apart from other teams — how we feel about each other and how we all just click.