Over the years, talking to a Moorestown girls' lacrosse goalie could be an experience unto itself.
These players can hold conversations better than most high school coaches. They are outgoing and witty. There's an underlying attitude, and confidence is one of its main ingredients.
Footwork and mechanics and hand speed and quickness are essential skills for goalies, but that's not what comes to mind when Quakers coaches talk about what separates the truly great at the position. The coaches will point to that inherent confidence, the ability to be comfortable in any situation, to handle pressure.
"Being a goalie is a mind game," said K.C. Knobloch, an assistant coach who works with the goalies every day at practice. "You can have the best mechanics in the world, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can make the saves."
Head coach Deanna Knobloch, his wife, added: "You need to be a different kind of player to be a goalie. You need to be mentally and physically tougher than any other player on the field. I firmly believe that."
Moorestown has rarely been without a star goalie or two since Knobloch took over the program 23 years ago.
But there's been nothing like the influx of talent the team has experienced at the position over the last five years.
The Quakers are rotating five goalies. Each likely could start, and be a star player, for almost any team in South Jersey.
The five are continuing a recent trend that's remarkable even by Moorestown standards.
In 2009, Karli Tobin was the team's senior starter. She went on to be a four-year starter and captain at Jacksonville.
In 2011, the senior starter was Bridget Bianco, the all-time jewel among Moorestown goalies. Bianco was third-team all-American last year as a sophomore for Northwestern. She led the Wildcats to the final four of the NCAA tournament, and she entered this season on the watch list for the Tewaaraton Award, the Heisman Trophy of women's lacrosse.
In 2012, senior Amanda Currell was in net for the Quakers. She led Moorestown to a perfect season and a Tournament of Champions title in her only season as a varsity starter. She is starting for Rutgers as a redshirt freshman. Playing time for Currell turned out to be far easier in a major Division I program than it was in high school.
Last year, the torch was passed to Shannon Keeler, who also led the Quakers to a perfect season and a T of C title. Keeler is a freshman starter for Gettysburg, the No. 7-ranked Division III team in the country.
Without a senior to fill the role this year, freshman Jessica Goralski; sophomore Lawson Hayes; and juniors Jess Button, Gabby Cooper, and Miranda Chrone are receiving regular varsity playing time.
The most striking aspect of the situation is how supportive the players are of each other.
Being a Moorestown goalie is something like being in a sorority within a sorority.
"I'm just a freshman, and I already feel as close to [Cooper] as a lot of my friends I've known my whole life," Goralski said. "I'm not used to this. I've played on a lot of teams for multiple years, and I've never been as close with any team as I've been with this one. That's what stands out most about this team: Everyone is part of one family."
It's an ultrarare scenario in which a high school player is good enough to be recruited to a Division I college but not able to see the varsity field on her high school team.
But that's part of the lore of Moorestown (9-0), one of the nation's most decorated high school programs in any sport.
It's something the players understand, something they're proud to be a part of.
"I can honestly say that I love it. I wouldn't want to be playing for any other team," Cooper said. "It's just so exciting going on the field and being surrounded by so many teammates who are so good. You can always count on them."
The Moorestown coaches insist the end game is not to narrow their goalie rotation to one player.
Instead, they go with the hot hand, often not revealing whom the starter is until moments before the game, and in-game switches have become the norm.
It's a way to keep everyone involved and prepared.
"It can be nerve-racking, but it's nice because you always know that the team has your back," Cooper said. "And we know whoever is in there can do great."
Cooper said she worked this offseason with Bianco, a player she has looked up to since she started attending Moorestown games as a middle-schooler.
Goralski said the same of Bianco, who is quickly becoming one of the more legendary figures in Moorestown's history.
"I learn so much from her," Cooper said. "She just has that personality that if she wants something, she will get it and work for it. And that's how you have to be."
Even Bianco, arguably the best all-around keeper the state has had, did not become a full-time starter for Moorestown until her junior season.
It's a lesson passed on to each new generation of Moorestown goalies. It's the reason that animosity does not exist among a group of talented goalies all hoping for playing time.
"We tell them all the time: If they work hard, their time will come," K.C. Knobloch said. "And when it does, they'll have the opportunity to do great things."