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  • Steve Woltmann/DePaul Athletics

  • Steve Woltmann/DePaul Athletics

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Five steps may seem like a trivial number. That’ll hardly get most people across the living room.

But for former Frederick High School goalkeeper Alex Godinez, moving her positioning five steps back has a taken her a great deal farther. A sophomore on the DePaul University women’s soccer team this season, Godinez was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Year this week.

Adjusting her positioning to maximize her skills was easy. Keeping up with her own meteoric rise to the top of a Division-I conference has been tough for Godinez.

“You know, it feels like I’m living in a dream right now,” Godinez said. “Sometimes I feel like I’m going to wake up one morning and realize none of it happened. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Not in the starting lineup to start the season, Godinez will start in goal for the Blue Demons when they take on Indiana in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship this weekend.

In 20 games this season, Godinez has allowed just 14 goals. Her 127 saves are a major reason why the Blue Demons are going dancing.

Godinez, who played in five games her freshman season, was tabbed as the starter after junior goalkeeper Megan Pyrz was injured in the Blue Demons’ first exhibition game. Three months later, the Big East coaches voted her as the conference’s best keeper.

“It’s been a real journey,” Godinez said. “In our very first exhibition game, our starting goalie suffered from an ACL injury. I knew I was going to have to step up. As the season progressed, I gained more confidence and my teammates and I have grown really close. I’ve never been a part of a team as close as this one is.”

Frederick head coach Chad Eisentrager supposed that Godinez was playing so far forward out of her box because she had to when she played for the Warriors. Since the Warriors had a fairly vulnerable defense at the time, the 2012 Times-Call Girls Soccer Player of the Year was forced to act almost like a defender and a goalkeeper at the same time.

Eisentrager said he keeps in touch with Godinez weekly. They don’t talk as much about her play as how everything else is going since he’s more of a fan than a coach now, he said.

“It’s hard to say you expect it, especially as a sophomore, but that’s the talent she has,” Eisentrager said. “Soccer is what she loves to do and she’s put 16 years into her craft. I’m not surprised that she did it, but I thought maybe it would be her senior year or something like that. It’s amazing that she did it as a sophomore. She’s just keeping really humble about the whole thing and just enjoying each day.”

After allowing three goals in a relief role during an exhibition loss to Northwestern, Godinez made some adjustments and her college career has taken off.

“I feel like I am making more saves than I was before,” Godinez said. “That changed everything. It doesn’t seem like that big of a thing but it’s really helped and I’m having a great time this season.”

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