5 minutes with… Alex Elias

By Steve Shonder

Women’s soccer’s Alex Elias capped off a strong first season by being only the fourth NIU freshman to be named to the MAC All-Freshman Team.

This year, Elias is building on her experience to help the Huskies construct the lockdown defense they need in order to make a run at winning the MAC.

Northern Star: Last year, you were named to the MAC All-Freshman Team. Do you feel there are some higher expectations [for yourself this season]?

Alex Elias: Not higher expectations. Definitely the same ones: just coming in and being an impact player [and] doing the same thing I did last year, just now with more experience.

NS: How was last year an adjustment for you?

AE: It was a lot different than club. It was definitely more physical and faster. I had to get used to that, but after a couple games I stepped up and was able to prove myself and kept going throughout the season.

NS: With an increased comfort level, do you think you’ll step your game up?

AE: The teams that we played last year have definitely gotten better. It’s not necessarily comfort but experience that might help me.

NS: Now that you’ve got that extra year of experience, how would you describe your role on the team?

AE: Right now, I’m just playing both positions — center mid and center back — kind of filling roles and seeing where [head] coach [John Ross] wants me and trying to fill both roles going forward.

NS: Central Michigan and Toledo gave the defense a lot of problems last year. How’d it feel to lock them down?

AE: It was awesome being a part of the back. We seemed really organized. We were all on the same page, and I definitely felt like we kept them to less chances than they had last year, so that was really successful for us.

NS: The defense has really stepped up the last couple games. What do you credit that to?

AE: I think we’ve really been practicing offense versus defense within practice, and so the defense is able to get good practice in with our top forwards. So, that helps us going to the games, playing other teams’ top forwards.

NS: What are your overall expectations for the team in MAC play?

AE: After this weekend, I think we definitely set the standard, and we’re going to go forward and continue to win.