The Maneater

Soccer Dad: Father of MU goalie Dossey says soccer "all she ever said she wanted to do"

The senior’s father talked about her passion for soccer, beginnings in the sport and accomplishments off the field.

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Kelsey Dossey, the all-around eager athlete, even wanted to play football when she was a kid. Her mom wouldn’t let her, but no bother – she was intent on another kind of football for the long run anyway.

Dossey played basketball and softball too, but from her early childhood, it was apparent that soccer was the sport that resonated with her. Now Missouri’s senior goalkeeper, Dossey would play four or five games on weekends then come home and play soccer in the backyard until she was told to come inside, said Kelly Dossey, her dad.

Even over the phone, it was clear just how proud father is of daughter.

“I would absolutely, 100 percent say that I am her biggest fan,” he said in an interview Oct. 5, the day after Dossey moved into sole possession of sixth place in career saves at Missouri with 175.

Her soccer career, however, started long before she came to Columbia. She hopes it will extend far beyond as well.

Growing up in Plainfield, Indiana, Dossey began playing soccer when she was 3 years old. Although her father doesn’t consider the Dosseys to be a soccer family, he said it became “just kind of what we did.” He coached his eldest daughter, Taylor, when she was young despite never playing soccer himself, and coached Kelsey when she was young as well.

That’s how Kelly found out soccer resided above all other sports in his daughter’s heart.

“When she was 5, she would say, ‘I wanna play on the national team,’ or, ‘I wanna play professional soccer,’ and that’s all she ever said she wanted to do,” her father said. “You ask kids what they want to do when they grow up and a lot of times that changes, but that’s all she ever said she wanted to do.”

A chance at that dream started to make itself apparent for Dossey when she was called in for the national pull in Portland, Oregon, during the summer of 2010, when she was 14. She had just transitioned to full-time goalkeeping. Then in September that year, she was called to national camp in Los Angeles.

Entering high school that year, Dossey became the starter for Avon High while playing for the Olympic Development Program’s (ODP) Region II team. At Avon, she posted a 54-8-12 record as a four-year starter, as well as leading the school to its first ever girls soccer state title in 2013.

She holds the Indiana high school shutout record for both boys and girls with 51 and was named ISCA Indiana Player of the Year in 2014.

Dossey was also named an National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American and an NSCAA Player of the Year in 2014 for her high school accomplishments.

Meanwhile, Dossey’s ODP team won the Girls Thanksgiving Interregional Tournament, played between ODP teams from different areas, in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

When Dossey graduated early from Avon High in December 2014, she was one of 16 goalkeepers invited to Chula Vista, California, to attend Women’s Youth National Team Goalkeeper Camp.

Although originally slated to play for SEC rival Kentucky, concerns with the now-former coach’s reputation caused Dossey and her family to look elsewhere. After visiting Missouri and falling in love with MU’s campus, she registered for the 2015 spring semester and signed on to play for the Tigers under coach Bryan Blitz.

During the 2015 season, Dossey started the first eight games in goal, recording 17 saves before being sidelined by a “freak accident” elbow injury suffered during practice.

Since then, she’s recorded 10 career shutouts, putting her fourth all-time at Mizzou. Her 20 victories are fifth all-time. She also ranks in the program’s top five in goals against average (1.32) and top 10 in games played (56) and starts (50).

But to her father, Dossey’s accomplishments on the field pale in comparison to what she’s achieved away from the soccer pitch. She was named to the SEC Community Service Team last year and the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll in 2016 and 2017.

“The stuff that she does off the field is much more impressive than anything she’s ever done on the field,” Kelly said, jokingly adding that he was going to cry. “She’s just a good kid.”

Dossey was also awarded a Chancellor’s Excellence Award in 2018 and became a member of the Three Stripes Club this September, which recognizes four MU athletes each month who excel academically, athletically and in their community. She was one of 10 MU athletes to travel to Haiti in May 2018 to distribute shoes in support of the group Soles4Souls.

Dossey’s plans for after this season include graduating from MU in December with a degree in psychology, then declaring for the 2019 Major League Soccer draft in January or traveling to play professionally overseas.

Wherever she ends up, she’ll have the word “FROG” scrawled in dry erase marker on her forearm before every game: “Fully rely on God.” It’s a game-day ritual she holds onto at Missouri.

“She’s very humble,” her father said. “She never talks about awards or the things that she’s done. Dad does. I’m a very proud father.”

Edited by Bennett Durando | bdurando@themaneater.com

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