Zia senior believes soccer right choice

By Dave Wagner, Freedom Newspapers

It’s hard to imagine Eastern New Mexico University senior forward Megan Dozier not playing soccer, but after years of throwing her body around on the pitch she admits she’ll be ready to give it up with the Zias’ season ends in a few weeks.

One of ENMU coach Travis McCorkle’s original recruits when the program started in 2003, Dozier enters the final four matches of the regular season as the school’s leader in goals (30) and assists (18). She is on track to earn her third All-Lone Star Conference berth, and is certainly the first ENMU player opponents discuss in strategy meetings.

There isn’t another sport she’d rather play.

“I’m no good at any other sport,” Dozier said. “I can’t hit a softball or shoot a basketball.

“I can run, so maybe I could do track.”

McCorkle is sure she made the right choice, and happy to have a player of her abilities at ENMU.

“Megan’s a great girl, and I’ve loved having her on the team,” he said. “She’s always been very supportive of her teammates. We’re definitely going to miss her presence.”

After Sunday’s 2-0 home win over East Central, the Zias (8-6, 3-2 LSC) are positioned to make the conference’s six-team postseason tournament for the first time.

Dozier was a standout at Midland (Texas) High, earning all-district honors twice and player of the year honors once. She had a chance to go to larger schools, but passed because she wanted to stay closer to home.

“She was definitely a player that we knew about,” McCorkle said. “She had some great opportunities at schools where she could’ve been a good player, but we couldn’t be happier to have her.

“She’s a good player with great speed. She’s made a huge difference for us. I can’t imagine what these last four years would’ve been like without her.”

The possibility of helping get the program going was intriguing to Dozier.

“It was exciting, and kind of scary at the same time,” she said. “I knew we weren’t going to have the best team that first year of the program, but it was fun trying to build a team and help get it started.

“I had a lot of offers from different schools, but most of them were from far away. And I didn’t want to go to a huge school.”

In a word, she describes her style as “intense.” At 5-foot-4 and not that thick, she takes a lot of physical contact during a match as well as dishing it out.

“I think any time I’m out here I want our team to win,” she said. “I want to be able to help our team.”