Sports

The last line of defense

Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and Vikki Alonzo.

There seems to be more than meets the eye when it comes to the goalkeeper for the University of Miami women’s soccer team.

A self-proclaimed poet, Alonzo earned accolades like Southeast All-Freshman Team during her first year.

She started her collegiate career by recording four shutouts in the first five games and finished with a school record 11, shattering the previous number of six. Alonzo also ranks first in school history in single-season saves (114), goals against average (0.88) and minutes in goal (2,055).

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

vickialonzobg

SAVED BY THE ‘KEEP: Goalie Vikki Alonzo shattered the previous program single-season shutout record of six by blanking 11 opponents. Billy Gilbert // First Impression Staff

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

And that’s just what she did since becoming the starting keeper for the Hurricanes and playing every minute of the 2008-2009 season, replacing the program’s most accomplished goalie, Lauren McAdam.

In the first match of the season against Stetson, Alonzo blocked a penalty kick late in the game to preserve the 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, she 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.

“I’m very pleased because, as a freshman, Vikki exceeded expectations,” head coach Tricia Taliaferro said.

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

August 22, 2009

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Anna Timmons

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.