The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Life after the storm: Alex Madden looks past her years at Belson

St. John’s Women’s Soccer Forward Alex Madden traveled across the Atlantic from Leicestershire, England, to play soccer in Queens, NY, and pursue her dreams of playing soccer professionally – this U.K. native has led her team to success as she actualizes her dreams on the field. 

When Madden started her career at St. John’s in the spring of 2019, she helped the team lead a successful season. Last year, Madden played in every game, which included 12 starts. Her determination and hard work shined through her five points and 15 shots on the net, with six of those shots resulting in goals. With around 800 minutes of playing time last season, Madden is getting ready to start all of the games in her upcoming senior season. 

“After graduation my aim is to go professional with soccer,” Madden told the Torch in an interview via Zoom. 

Growing up, Madden always played sports at recess. When the trials came around each year to join Leicester City teams, Madden got invited to try out but was not successful the first time around. She was told to come back the next year and to join a local town team. After joining a local team, she was invited back the next year for the Leicester trials and made it onto the Leicester City women’s soccer program for her age group. This was just the beginning of her career on the soccer field. 

Before coming to St. John’s, Madden attended Fairfield College in Connecticut, where she earned a spot on their soccer team. Madden decided to transfer, hoping to find more of a challenge in a different city. In the spring of 2019, Madden made the move to Queens to finish up her college soccer career and start thinking about what she wants the rest of her athletic career to look like. 

Madden’s dream in life is to play professionally, wherever she can. The first team she played for  growing up, Leicester City,  has recently gone professional, and Madden said playing for the team she started on would be “amazing.”

Madden has other plans beyond the soccer field: to work in law enforcement or security at athletic stadiums. Madden had the opportunity to intern for the head of security at Aston Villa Football Club in the United Kingdom for a couple of days this past January. During this internship, she got to see first-hand what it is like to be behind the scenes. 

“It was incredible. And you get to watch the game as well and watch the crowd react,” Madden described about her few days with the club.

Before the match started, she said the security team met with local policemen, medical professionals  and the stewards to go over the plan of how to control the crowds and keep them safe. She said they went over crowd control, made sure no one had any explosives and made sure the  crowd for the visiting team was all in check. 

Five years from now, Madden hopes to still be playing soccer at the professional level. She said the only reason she would stop is if she was not healthy enough. Right now, she recognizes that she should be set to go play anywhere in the world. 

“I might not go professionally in America,” Madden said. “I might not end up professionally in England either. I might end up in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Australia and need to start exploring those options, reaching out to those coaches.”

Madden would like to work for the Premier League or become a stadium manager if she does not play in a professional league. Law enforcement is another possible career path for her – “my whole family is law enforcement,” Madden said.  

What can Madden take from her years at St. John’s into her future?

“They [Athletics Department] demand very high standards from the team and want us to practice at 110% and make it seem game realistic,” Madden said, explaining how the Department has helped the team be its best. 

Not only does the Athletics Department hold teams to a high standard, but so do the individual players on each team. 

“We just played a six-vs.-six,” Madden said of a recent team scrimmage. “They are not screaming at each other but demanding that shots be flying in. Demanding each other to a higher standard.”

This push for more makes everyone want to work harder. Personally, Madden is not settling for less in her senior year. She said that she is currently working on getting in more speed work and extra conditioning to be at the highest standard of playing she can be. The players also have regular meetings to set goals for themselves for the next couple of weeks. These goals are put into four different groups: tactile, technical, psychological and physical. She said that everyone puts out an action plan and creates a graph, holding themselves accountable for working towards these goals. 

One of Madden’s most valuable memories from St. John’s was beating Villanova last fall after having been down by three goals at halftime. Madden said that the excitement coming off of the crowd just made that win even more special. 

Another memory for Madden was when she scored a goal against Georgetown, whose goalkeeper happened to have played on the New Zealand national team. 

Although Madden will carry her on-field SJU memories with her throughout her future, she said those memories will never compare to the ones she makes with her teammates going out to dinner, traveling together and just being with each other. The small memories are the ones that make team bonding and its players that much better.

In the end, Madden still has this year to show off her skills at Belson Stadium and hopefully be able to play professionally after graduating in Spring 2021. The time she has spent at St. John’s will always be with her no matter where she ends up playing around the globe. 

 “All I want to do is play soccer ‘til I am no longer healthy or able to play.” 

 

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About the Contributor
Sara Kiernan, Sports & Photo Editor
Sara is a senior journalism student serving as the Sports Editor & Photo Editor. She is minoring in government and politics and is a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma's epsilon omicron chapter. She has been able to take photos at some amazing places including the Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden. If she is not taking photos on the court or writing, she has an iced coffee in hand with friends, walking around the city or watching any sports game that is on! LETS GO YANKEES!  Sara can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected] 

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