Tori Doss isn’t just smart, she’s bright….very bright. She’s also very talented, and you could add very humble…unbelievably humble. Whether on the soccer field or in the classroom, Doss, a Carmel High School senior, usually does the right things. And in a nonchalant manner.
“You don’t come across many student-athletes as bright as she is. She’s really remarkably bright,’’ said nine-time Carmel state championship girls soccer coach Frank Dixon.
Doss boasts a 4.76 grade point average. She’s in the top 3 percent of her class. She’s a class officer and, obviously, a strong IHSAA Mental Attitude Award candidate should the Class 2A top-ranked Lady Greyhounds reach the state championship game again in 2012.
The sky’s the limit for Doss, who will graduate from high school in December and report to Xavier University in the spring so she can get an early start in being part of that college program.
Doss is the forefront of the Carmel girls soccer team’s attack much like she was in 2011, but now from a new position as the attacking midfielder. The petite mighty-mite was the team’s leading scorer in 2011 (17 goals, 12 assists) en route to the Class 2A state championship on a team that was honored as national champion and that had Indiana’s Miss Soccer, Brooke Backes.
Doss’ coach, who owns the best winning percentage in the nation (94-plus percent) and who owns more state soccer championships than any other Indiana coach – past or present – certainly knows a little something about talent and the sport. So when he says she’s a champion and possesses the qualities you find in a special athlete, you’ve heard it from the expert. “She’s quiet off the field, but so dynamic on the field,’’ said Dixon. “She’s very aggressive, a strong attacker. She leads by example, and she has a will to excel, to win.’’
When asked if she’s ever set a goal in terms of being named Indiana’s Miss Soccer, Doss pretty much shrugged it off. She did say everyone would like to be considered for such an honor, and that it would be nice, for sure, but that hasn’t been on her mind from day one this season. “The goal is to be No. 1 in the end again, and win another state title,’’ she said. “My focus is on winning and leading. I work hard; and I get the others to work hard, too. To be a champion, you have to be willing to pay the price and constantly work hard to get better.’’
Dixon said that Doss has sacrificed some of her scoring and possibly some individual honors for the TEAM. “We needed her as a midfielder in order for us to win,’’ Dixon said. With Tori and Megan Kaser and Amy Malone, well, we’re really solid there. There’s no question she’d score more if she was playing more out front.’’
But as far as Miss Soccer credentials, Doss said such an award could only be based on performance on the field. “If we go far in the tournament and I have a great season, then anything is possible,’’ she said. “If it happens, great; if not, it won’t because I didn’t do my best this season. I always give my best.’’
Doss also thinks that teammate Kaser could be a candidate for Miss Soccer, pointing out that “Megan is a great teammate and also a great leader.’’
Dixon believes that how far the Lady Greyhounds go in the tournament could determine how the honors play out. “But,’’ he said, “it’s not always based on how many goals you score. Defense is very important, too. Those who’ve seen Tori play and simply know about her understand the way we’re using her in our attack and just how valuable she is. At Xavier, coaches might end up even using her at different positions. I can tell you this: Tori Doss gives it her best all the time. She’s a terrific competitor, and to Tori, her TEAM really does come first.’’
Doss’ leadership shows up off the field, too. She works with a club at school that goes out into the community and talks with the youth. “We ask how we can help them, and do whatever we can,’’ Doss said. “The thing we do as a club is talk to kids about the importance of studying, getting their grades, and making sure they understand the importance of staying in school.’’
She’s also involved in a tutor program, working with kids at Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS #97) in soccer. “We work with mostly fourth and fifth graders. We help them prepare for ISTEP in our off-season from soccer,’’ Doss said. “But we also play soccer and other games with them. It’s fun for them and us. I know I personally find our work with IPS to be especially rewarding.’’