GUARDIAN OF THE GOAL: Kempner's Alexander Pulls Out All the Stops
PRESSURE IS MADISON ALEXANDER’S FRIEND.
The Kempner senior goalkeeper enjoys it. Relishes it. She is one of the best at her position, named District 24-5A’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2021 after compiling 54 saves with nine shutouts, largely because she stands out when stakes are highest.
Penalty kicks are where Alexander shines brightest.
“Those are always memorable saves,” Alexander said. “I’m pretty accurate. We’ve lost in PKs before, but it’s so much fun when we win.”
Where most goalkeepers can feel anxious, nervous, and/or overwhelmed, Alexander welcomes the opportunity.
She practically has it down to a science. The first thing she does is look into the shooter’s eyes.
“That’s pretty intimidating, I think,” she said with a giggle.
Wherever the shooter looks, Alexander said they tend to shoot in the opposite direction. If that doesn’t tell enough, Alexander will read body and hip movements.
If a shooter is left-footed, Alexander knows to expect a shot to her left side.
Alexander only stands 5-foot-2. That is short for a goalkeeper. But she has tremendous speed—she is impressively quick to the ball—and good length.
She has played goalkeeper since she started playing soccer in the fourth grade.
“It’s the action I get,” Alexander said. “The feeling of stopping a ball and saving it. Everyone around me cheering and happy. There’s a lot of happiness that comes with being able to get a save and a stop for your team. That’s what I love.”
For her senior year this spring, Alexander said she will leave everything on the field. She hopes to create connection with her teammates through workouts and play on the field.
“I just want to have a good season,” said Alexander, who hopes to play in college and is being recruited by Dartmouth. “I don’t really care, win or lose. For my senior year, I just want it to be a good year.”
She’s soaking in everything the sport has awarded her during a stellar high school career.
“I’ve definitely learned that I’m not very patient and I’m very hard on myself,” Alexander said, laughing. “I’ve learned about responsibility and being accountable. This team has taught me a lot about working hard. We don’t have a strong team this year, but we’re always doing our best and doing what we can to try and win. I love that.