Freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Dossey provides solid starts for Missouri

Dossey looks to fill the big shoes left by one of the top Mizzou goalkeepers.
Missouri Tigers goalie Kelsey Dossey (1) winds up to clear the ball at Audrey J. Walton Stadium. Dossey is the only freshman to start in a game this season. Courtesy of MU Athletics

When Kelsey Dossey first heard of Mizzou, she had no idea what it was.

Dossey was on her way to becoming an All-American goalkeeper for Avon High School when a friend came up and introduced the possibility of attending Missouri.

“Well my friend had come on a visit here, and she really liked it,” Dossey said. “She was like, ‘Hey, you should go on a visit to Mizzou,’ and I was like, ‘What the heck is Mizzou?’ I’m from Indiana, so I wasn’t aware of what Mizzou was.”

Dossey decided to come on a visit and instantly knew Missouri was the place for her.

“I came (to Missouri) and just fell in love,” Dossey said. “I knew from the get-go it was a home away from home. Everyone was very welcoming. The coaches are awesome, the soccer is awesome and I just love all the girls. I felt I was a part of the family right when I walked on campus.”

One year later, Dossey has been the only freshman to start in a game for the Tigers this season. Moreover, she has started every game. In her short career, she has amassed three shutouts and only allowed four goals.

Dossey remains humble even through her success, insisting that her teammates are the ones who deserve the praise.

“I’ve always been stuck with such an awesome back line, so I’ve been really blessed,” Dossey said.

While Dossey does not show it, the learning curve has been a steep one in the transition from high school to college. The hardest adjustment has come from the speed of Division I athletes.

“The speed of play is much much quicker,” Dossey said. “It’s not even relatable. The speed of the shots are 10 times quicker, the physicality of the girls is 10 times harder. I feel like everything is just 10 steps above everything that I was already with in high school.”

Dossey credits her quick transition to coming to Mizzou earlier than all the other freshman.

“Graduating high school a semester early and coming in the spring is a huge help for me,” Dossey said. “I honestly don’t think I would have earned that starting spot if I would not have done that.”

While Dossey, a native of Plainfield, Indiana, was playing for the Avon High School Orioles, she set a state high school record with 51 career shutouts and was also one of three goalkeepers in the country to be selected to the All-America Game.

Avon coach Eric Nance immediately saw a leader in Dossey from the moment she walked onto the pitch.

“One thing that Kelsey did as soon as she came into our program during our summer workouts is that she was really vocal and showed leadership skills right from the start,” Nance said. “She was always looking for ways to help her teammates get an advantage and get better.”

Leadership is also a commodity that goalkeepers coach Molly Schneider looks for in her players.

“You know for her, and for both keepers, it’s just continuing to get to know the team and work with the team and be a leader,” Schneider said. “We continue to want our goalkeepers to be a leader so not only are they stopping the ball but starting the attack so continue to lead from the back.”

Schneider is also quick to point out that Dossey, even though she has started every game, still needs to work hard to maintain her spot as the team’s first choice keeper.

“Both our goalkeepers compete each week to start,” Schneider said. “(Kelsey) is doing a great job and she is technically clean, great in the air so she is competing and doing all of that. The job is open for both to compete each week.”

Dossey’s teammates have been exuberant with the work that the freshman has turned in this season.

“She is doing really well for us this year,” sophomore forward Savannah Trujillo said. “She came in as a freshman last spring and we really didn’t know much about her, and she’s really stepped it up this season. She’s starting, and she’s doing really well because she has a really good mindset. She’s got a good head on her shoulders, and she’s one of the people that keeps us in games.”

Dossey’s performance is a relief to the Tigers and also to herself. Coming into the season, whoever started in the net would be filling the shoes of one of Mizzou’s all-time great goalkeepers: McKenzie Sauerwein.

Sauerwein had been the Tigers’ keeper for the past four years. During that time, she amassed 46 wins and only let in an average of 1.22 goals per game.

“It’s definitely nerve wracking coming here, especially being a freshman, earning the starting spot and then just kind of living up to (Sauerwein’s) name,” Dossey said. “It’s definitely a blessing in disguise though and I’m looking forward to the future.”

The future looks bright with Dossey in goal for Mizzou. As the Tigers push to win a Southeastern Conference championship, Dossey just hopes that goals are that of staying consistent and finishing her first year strong.

“Hopefully (I) get a little better and stay consistent,” Dossey said. “I feel like any coach just wants consistency and as long as I’m staying consistent throughout the season, they’ll appreciate that. So not dropping down like a rollercoaster, which is part of freshman and part of life in general but just finding that consistency and sticking with it.”

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