Senior Allie Buote is a key component of the Terrapins' success this year. The goalie holds a 7.7 goals against average and .495 save percentage, both of which rank her second in the conference. Buote is also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a member of the ACC All-Academic Team. She took a few minutes to chat with theACC.com about her lacrosse career and expectations for the ACC Lacrosse Championship.
When did you start playing lacrosse?
I started in third grade, so I was about nine years old. I went to St. Mary's in Annapolis, and (it seemed like) everyone did lacrosse there. The daughters of one of my dad's good friends from work both played for Severna Park, and we went to go see a game. My dad said, "Wanna try it?" and I said, "Sure!"
What other teams have you competed on leading up to your college career?
I did St. Mary's rec ball growing up, and then St. Mary's High School. We had our own club team and (competed with) WLA and T.C. Lax, (two big club lacrosse organizations).
What is the best advice you have received from a coach?
(Head Coach) Cathy (Reese) sends me a text message before every game with one word to concentrate on for the game. I've gotten ones that say "confidence," "in control," "awesome," and stuff like that. (Associate Head Coach) Jen Adams also says stuff like, "Big beach balls today!" (since I'm a goalie). They've always been good about giving me inspirational words.
Who is your most influential role model?
My sister is pretty much my role model for everything. She's 12 years older than me, so I always looked up to her growing up. I always wanted to be just like her. I look up to my parents as well. My dad got me into all the sports and he's a cool guy. He has good attributes I'd like to follow. My mom is awesome as well because she helps me with everything.
What is your most memorable moment in sports, either as an athlete or as a sports fan?
It was cool my sophomore year when I was watching the Maryland women's basketball team in the national championship game when Kristi Toliver made that shot to send it into overtime and they won it. As far as playing myself, I'd say when we beat Virginia this year at home. It was exciting because my class had never beaten them. We'd gotten blown out a few times! It was nice to get a little revenge on our home field with our home crowd there.
What is your personal greatest accomplishment as an athlete?
Probably getting my first-degree black belt. That was a really big jump for me. I did karate (Tae Kwon Do) for five years before I got that. It was a lot of hard work (culminated by) a three-day test.
How did you get into karate?
I was always a huge fan of the Ninja Turtles, so that's pretty much why! (laughs) I had been bugging my mom that I wanted to do karate, and she said, "Sure, sure..." So for my birthday, I got started. She figured it would last maybe for a year, but I loved it. I really liked the school I went to, all the instructors were great, and I stuck with it.
Has it helped in any way with getting to where you are in your lacrosse career?
It helps a lot with footwork. There's a lot of concentration on footwork especially, since it's just you fighting another person. You have to be able to react and attack at the same time - defend yourself while going in for that next move. That helps a lot, especially with one-on-one situations (in lacrosse) and being able to follow the attacker. It helps with reflexes; we work a lot of speed and blocks, which has helped a lot too.
What do you still hope to accomplish athletically?
I'd love to win an ACC championship and a national championship! That's our goal. Short-term - ACC; long-term - national! (laughs) That's what we're working toward and would be my ultimate dream.
What do you think it will take to accomplish that this year?
Concentrating and sticking to our game plan. I think we have all the components there, but we need to keep playing together as we've been doing most of this year. We have great team chemistry. If we stick to our game plan, play Maryland lacrosse, and don't worry about anything else going on around us, I think that will take us where we want to go.
What is it like playing in a conference like the ACC where several of the teams are ranked very highly?
It's great. I wouldn't have it any other way. (The ACC Championship) is so exciting because we play the top teams in the country. Not everyone gets to do that in their own tournaments. It means so much to win it. It's also great because there are huge rivalries, and even though you see them a few times a year, you never know what to expect. You have to come out hard every game.
What is your favorite aspect of the ACC Championship?
The banquet's fun! (laughs) The great competition and sportsmanship. Everyone comes out, plays hard and leaves it all out on the field. That's definitely the great thing about the ACC.
Why did you choose Maryland?
I grew up in Maryland, so I spent a lot of time coming to games and watching games on TV. There's such a great tradition. When (former coach Cindy Timchal) recruited me, I was so excited and after I visited the school, I felt that these girls were the right fit for me. My class is amazing as well as all the girls that were ahead of me, and now the girls that have come in behind me. We have amazing chemistry and that definitely drew me in.
Do you have any plans yet for after graduation?
(laughs) I'm thinking about lacrosse right now and graduation in May, and then I'll figure it out! This summer, I'll probably wash some boats and get a summer job, and try and find something when the fall comes. I'm a criminology and justice major, so I want to try and do something in my field. I find it really interesting, but I don't know exactly what (my job) will be yet.
Allie Buote and the Terrapins take on North Carolina in the semifinals of the 2008 ACC Women's Lacrosse Championship on Friday, April 25, at 5:30 p.m. ACC Select will provide coverage of the game.