Doller and change: former ASU soccer player leading way for Arizona
Ask Arizona soccer’s leading goal scorer Ali Doller why she decided to stay in-state after transferring from ASU and Paradise Valley Community College, and she might tell you it was as simple as motherly love.
“I’m a home bug,” Doller said. “I didn’t want to leave my momma.”
Whatever the reason, the Wildcats are certainly benefiting from the junior forward’s choice of Tucson. She has four goals and two assists in the 3-0-3 start to the 2013 season for Arizona, which is off to its best start since the program’s founding in 1994.
In recent years, Arizona athletics has benefited greatly from the arrival of big-name transfers like former quarterback Nick Foles, who broke several Wildcat football records, and former point guard Mark Lyons, who led the men’s basketball team to the Sweet 16. However, few have had as interesting a journey as Doller, who started her college career in arch-rival territory in Tempe, Ariz., her hometown.
Tyler Besh / The Daily Wildcat Alexandra Doller Junior forward
A knee injury cut her freshman year short at ASU before she moved on to Paradise Valley Community College, where a healthy 2012 season gave her options for the next step.
At PVCC, Doller, who led the Pumas with 31 goals and 15 assists to an undefeated season, culminating with the NJCAA national championship.
First-year head coach Tony Amato is glad her next stop was the UA.
“Ali is a good player,” Amato said. “She is one of those goal scorers who you feel like just has a knack for finding the back of the net. She has an outgoing personality, has a lot of energy and works hard, so she brings a lot to the dynamic of the team.”
After all the struggles Arizona soccer has had these past
few seasons — in 2011 it only won one game, and in 2012 it went 6-11-3— newcomers like Doller have helped the Wildcats get off to a hot start.
Doller’s four goals so far this season tie her for seventh in the Pac-12, with many of the goals coming in clutch moments. In the opening game of the season against Florida International, Doller scored two of the Wildcats’ goals in a game in which Arizona won 4-2.
This past weekend, playing in front of family and friends at the Sun Devil Classic in Tempe, Doller’s 85th minute header tied the game against the Kansas Jayhawks 1-1, and preserved Arizona’s unblemished record in 2013.
Even though she is now a Wildcat, Doller still appreciated her homecoming in Tempe.
“A lot of friends and family came, which was nice,” said Doller. “It’s always fun when people you know are watching you play.”
Although this is her third school in three years, it’s the first time in her college career Doller gets to experience living in a community outside of the Phoenix area.
“It’s exciting and interesting to do something new and different,” said Doller. “So far I like it. The campus is really nice, I love the team, and my coaches have been great. It’s really not that different from home, weather-wise, so yeah I like it.”
— Follow Brian Peel @BrianPeel91