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Seniors return from Dons' 'dream team'

12/11/2013, 6:15pm PST
By Glae Thien, Special to the U-T

Cathedral Catholic won league, section and regional championships.

Brittany Doan (right) and Laura Shea bring more than soccer skills to Cathedral Catholic's successful team.

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Besides being a top goal scorer for the Cathedral Catholic High girls soccer team, senior Brittany Doan may well lead the Dons in laughs.

It’s not that Doan tells a lot of jokes, but she has a lighter side that bears as much mention as her playing skills for a team that comes off championships last season in the Western League, San Diego Section and Southern California Regional.

“I can always rely on Brittany to pass to,” senior defender Laura Shea said. “You can count on her to do something good with the ball. She’s really funny, too, just the little things she does. She’s just fun to talk to.”

Likewise, along with anchoring their defense, Shea has another quality that helps power the Dons.

“Laura is a motivator,” Doan said. “She gets everyone super pumped for games. Also, no ball ever gets behind her on defense. She’s always there to get it, and she’s very skilled.”

From one end of the field to the other, from fun to encouragement, the two returning all-section players are set to help the Dons bid for a repeat of their triple titles, a feat that brings recognition as a “dream team” by coach Dawn Lee. Cathedral first achieved the accomplishment in 2008.

Doan finished with 19 goals last season, including one in a 3-1 victory over West Hills Chaminade for the regional crown. The previous season, she had the only score in Cathedral’s section semifinal triumph and then two more in the win for the title.

“Definitely, the team and I get really pumped for those games,” said Doan, a 5-foot-5 speedster, who has committed to Gonzaga for college soccer. “They’re really fun.”

In youth soccer, Doan actually began as a defender, even earning the nickname “Iron Curtain.” Then one day, she moved forward and scored three goals in a game, establishing her position to stay.

Conversely, Shea went from her original spot on the attack to a home on defense.

“I like it back there,” said the 5-foot-7 Shea, whose college plans are undetermined. “It’s just better for me. I have a more defensive mind.”

Shea nonetheless chipped in a goal and six assists last season.

Overall, Cathedral outscored the opposition 88-19 last year, including 20 shutouts. From that squad, seven starters are back this season, augmented by standout sophomore transfer Olivia Erlbeck from Bishop’s.

Senior Hanna Macauley is again in goal, and midfielder Ally Ocon joins Doan and Shea as a fellow fourth-year varsity member.

“We’re prepared to face the challenges ahead of us,” Doan said. “We have a big target on our backs. So we’re going to come out super hard.”

With plenty of laughs and cheers, too.

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