Soccer

Freshman goalie vital part of team

 

STOPPED: Freshman Vikki Alonzo saves a shot on goal from Purdue Wednesday night. The Hurricanes won the game, 2-0. Photo by Billy Gilbert // Hurricane Staff.

Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and Vikki Alonzo.

There seems to be more than meets the eye when it comes to the freshman goalkeeper for the No. 26 team in the nation.

A self-proclaimed poet, Alonzo was recently named ACC Women’s Soccer Player of the Week and Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week after recording her fourth shutout in five games to start the season.

The 5’6” public relations and marketing major, who is one of seven freshmen on the team, feels at home in the goal, donning a rather interesting uniform.

“I wear yellow and black,” Alonzo said. “I like to stand out.”

And that’s just what she’s been doing since becoming the starting keeper for the Hurricanes, replacing the program’s most accomplished goalie, Lauren McAdam.

“I’m going to try to fill her shoes,” Alonzo said. “Or her cleats, I should say.”

In the first match of the season against Stetson, Alonzo blocked a penalty kick late in the game to preserve her first collegiate shutout and a 3-0 victory for Miami.

“The most important skill is to be mentally tough and believe you’re the best,” Alonzo said. “If you don’t believe and have confidence in yourself when you’re on that field, there is no point in stepping out.”

A native of Carrollton, Texas, Alonzo has been playing soccer since she was six, though it wasn’t until her second year on the club level that she made the switch from forward to goalie.

Choosing Miami over Louisiana State University and the University of Texas at El Paso for its family environment and atmosphere, the eldest of three siblings couldn’t be further away from home.

“It’s a lot different from Texas,” Alonzo said. “It’s a lot more interesting out here.”

On the team’s first road trip, No. 00 didn’t need to make a save in a 3-0 win against Arkansas-Little Rock, and she has only seen and faced 18 shots on goal the entire season.

“Defense usually doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, but it’s the key to our success and determination,” head coach Tricia Taliaferro said. “The defense is driving our team.” 

Thanks to the play of Alonzo and others such as sophomore forward Brittney Steinbruch, who has scored in each game so far Miami (5-0-0) hopes to win a program-best six straight when it hosts Purdue Wednesday night at Cobb Stadium.

“I never feel like I’m the last line of the defense [as goalie]because my team always has my back,” Alonzo said.

Since the season started, however, the soccer-playing poet has been neglecting her favorite hobby off the field.

Even if Alonzo writes rhymes as well as she stops shots, an anthology will just have to wait until the keeper and her teammates are satisfied with beating their opponents and making it to the NCAA Tournament.

September 11, 2008

Reporters

Christina De Nicola

Editor In Chief


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