After playing eight years of lacrosse and soccer and six years of field hockey, Mount Airy's Tricia Burdt is trying something new during her sophomore lacrosse season at St. Paul's School for Girls in Baltimore County.
"I'm playing goalie for the first time," Burdt said, "It's going real well. I like taking control, and playing goalie allows me to take charge of the defense."
In years past, the 15-year-old Burdt was an attack player in lacrosse. But first-year coach Sandy Hoody is a firm believer that the team's best athlete should be in goal, and Burdt certainly fits the bill.
"There's a saying that goes, 'Offense wins games, but defense wins championships.' I go along with that -- you can't win without defense," Hoody said.
"Tricia has adjusted very well. She's a very talented athlete and picks things up right away. Last week in practice,things began to fall into place, and she had a strong game against Severn (a 9-6 win) Tuesday. She is now comfortable and confident back there -- she's like an added defender."
With the win, St. Paul's improved its record to 3-4. Burdt has been in goal for all seven gamesand owns a respectable 9.0 goals against average. Hoody is expectingbigger and better things to come from a team primarily consisting offreshmen and sophomores.
"We have a very young, talented group," she said, "It's just a matter of bringing them together."
Burdt can be found in the middle of the action in the other two sports she plays as well. In soccer, she plays sweeper -- center defender -- whilein field hockey she plays midfield.
"Playing sweeper, I have the same kind of control of the defense as in lacrosse," she said, "My role in field hockey is mostly to set up plays on the left side and cross the ball when I have to."
So when does she find time to play all these sports?
Burdt plays field hockey in the fall, soccer in the winter (Baltimore private school soccer seasons are played in winter) and lacrosse in the spring. A typical school day has her up at 6 a.m. and home by 7 p.m. after practice.
"I'm used to it. I've been doing it since second grade, and it doesn't bother me at all. Right now I'm also playing club hockey and soccer on the weekends." she said.
Most of her summer is spent playing her favorite sport, field hockey. Last summer, she was selected to play on a National Junior Olympic team.
"I was chosen from a developmental camp. I had a lot of fun and met a lot of new friends from all over the country," she said.
This January, Burdt was invited to try out for a pair of national field hockey teams. She has an opportunity to gain a spot on the under-18 or under-21 roster and will learn June 1 if she has made one of the teams.
"It's going real well. I'm playing with players ranging from 15 years old to juniors in college, and I've learned a lot," she said.
Hoody, who also coaches the St. Paul's field hockey team, believes she has a blue-chip Division I college athlete in Burdt.
"She's a very athletic individual," Hoody said, "She's quick but doesn't have blazing speed. She reads the game very well, which gives her the ability to anticipate and create.
Burdt also is excelling in the classroom and is taking advantage of the education St. Paul's has to offer.
"I've made the honor roll for the first time the pasttwo quarters," Burdt said.