Jlon Flippens isn’t bound to one position on the Maryland women’s soccer team.

The sophomore has alternated between midfielder and defender since arriving in College Park. Last season, she played at central midfield and led the team in assists. This year, she still leads the Terps in that category despite playing primarily at center back.

Flippens played all 90 minutes in the midfield against Rutgers on Sunday for the first time this season. Regardless of whether returns to the back line when the Terps face Illinois on Friday, her versatility has been a key for the squad in 2017.

“I’m fine switching,” Flippens said. “If [coach] Ray [Leone] wants me to play center back one game and midfield the other game, I have no problem doing whatever.”

In addition to taking up different positions for Maryland (6-1-1), Flippens is the primary option on set piece duty. She scored from a 25-yard free kick against Navy on Aug. 20.

Though Flippens played midfield in the spring, the Rutgers contest was her first foray into the position this year. Leone made the change because he wanted her to impact the attack, which just lost freshman forward Mikayla Dayes to injury for the remainder of the season.

Leone feels comfortable using Flippens in the midfield because of her technique on the ball.

When she plays on the backline, Flippen aims her long balls wide of goal to spring the attack. However, when pushed forward, she has the opportunity to become more involved in the attack.

Defender Julia New, often Flippens’ center back partner, said her ability to switch fields with long passes is a huge asset. Plus, Flippens is one of the tallest players on the team at 5-foot-9, making her a threat in the air.

“She’s tricky on the ball, too,” New said. “If she can fake out their midfielders, we can take out half their team and then just go right at the backline.”

Flippens finds out which position she’ll play in the final practice prior to a game or outside the locker room before a contest begins. She said Leone explains her role ahead of time so she can mentally prepare her for whichever spot she’s expected to fill.

Though she’s primarily played defense this year, Flippens said midfield is her natural position, one she began playing in at age 10. Injuries to club teammates put her on defense around age 16 and she’s floated between the two roles ever since.

Leone said Flippens will likely be returning to the backline against Illinois on Friday. But if she remains in midfield, it’ll likely be Malikae Dayes or Hope Gouterman alongside New.

Regardless of where she plays, her seamless transitions between positions makes her teammates confident Flippens will be effective wherever she’s placed on the pitch.

“It’s definitely like a puzzle out here,” New said. “Sometimes we just don’t really know what’s coming but we’re kind of making the best of whatever. We know we have a lot of versatile players who can play wherever, like Jlon. She can even play striker if she wants to.”