Sports

Alford stabilizes goalie position

Coming into the season, the biggest question mark on the women’s soccer team was goaltending. Freshman Alex Alford has helped alleviate those concerns.
Alford, an Atlanta native, has compiled a 5-4 record with a 1.66 goals against average through her first nine games. Alford has stabilized the goaltending position so much that it has become one of the strengths of the team.
“It’s very exciting to come in and have such an experienced back line,” Alford said. “I was very nervous at first to go in and play, being a freshman from the beginning, but they helped me through it and got me to the level I need to be at.”
Alford’s success should come as no surprise to anyone associated with the team. In high school, Alford’s team won back-to-back AAA State Championships in her junior and senior seasons. During that stretch, Alford allowed just 18 goals in 47 matches, and accumulated a combined record of 38-6-3 in those two seasons. In her senior season, Alford was named the AJC All-State Player of the Year for the state of Georgia. Her high school success led her to South Florida as a member of the Hurricanes.
“I’m so glad to be a part of the team here, and to play a division one sport.” Alford said. “It is such a great experience and everyday when we come out and play, I’m so thankful and blessed for the opportunity to play for the awesome coaches and players here.”
Alford has the perfect mentality for a goaltender, being confident and outgoing, striving for nothing short of victory.
“You don’t always get all the glory as a goalie and it’s a lot of work but you are there supporting your team and just try to be a leader for the team,” Alford said.
Alford’s first experience in soccer came in a recreational league when her dad put her in as the goalie. Even as an eight-year-old, Alford showed what she could do between the posts.
“My dad put me in at goalie when I used to play when I was a little kid,” Alford said. “I remember I played in my friend’s soccer game once and they put me in goal and I made some good saves and I got really excited about that.”
It has always been a dream of Alford’s to play in the NCAA Tournament. With a talented and young team, Alford should be able to reach this goal sooner rather than later.
“I want to make the NCAA Tournament, it has always been a dream of mine to play in that and to do well,” Alford said.
This season has been a different experience so far for Alford. Coming from a high school that won state championships, the team’s slow start is a bit unfamiliar.
“I strive to do my best and I won’t settle for average, I want to be the best that I can be and do the best that I can for the team,” Alford said.

September 26, 2003

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