Each week, The Sun will publish a Q&A with a college lacrosse player or coach to get you more acquainted with his/her team. Today's guest is Towson junior goalie Mary Teeters, who ranks third in the Colonial Athletic Association in save percentage (.473) and fourth in goals against average (9.89).
You've started in goal all but one game in your career. A lot of young players are forced to learn from the bench, but how much do you think getting all that experience as a freshman and sophomore has helped develop your game?
Being given the opportunity to start as a freshman forced me to mature my lacrosse game and gave me the experience to kind of direct the defense. The difference between high school and college lacrosse is so drastic. It's a lot smarter and it's a lot faster.
For the third straight year, you've so far managed to keep your goals against average under 10. Is there a sense of pride in staying in single digits?
I didn't even know that. I really try not to focus on stats. Attackers want the goals and assists, defenders want the caused turnovers and ground balls and goalies want a good save percentage. But I just try to focus on winning, because that's all that really matters.
There are a lot of people who watch the games and think being a good goalie is just about stopping shots. Obviously there's a lot more to it than that. In your mind, what makes a good goalie?
Definitely, first and foremost, it's being able to save the shots. That's you're No. 1 job. But also clearing. … Getting the ball up the field safely is really important. And stick skills. People don't think goalies really need to have good stick skills or a left hand, but it is important when you need to come out of the cage and protect the ball, or get that ground ball. Also, communication is really important. Being able to direct your defense and let them know where the ball is.
Towson got off to a rough start this season with three straight losses. Since then, the team has won six of nine and seems to have improved quite a bit. What's been the difference?
Our team is getting better every game. We're a young squad, so I think that getting that experience for the freshmen and sophomores — coming in the game and knowing when to make that feed or take the shot — it's all about experience. You can practice as much as you want, but you need game experience to get better. I'm happy to be on a team that's constantly getting better instead of plateuing and just staying at the same level.
I count five games this season decided by two goals or less. Has playing in so many games that have gone down to the wire put more pressure on you? Do you enjoy playing in tight games more than blowouts?
I'd rather be in a good game. Of course, I want to be on the good end of the tight game, winning by a goal or two. It's much more exciting, and I find that I play better in games like that. I enjoy the pressure.