HEATHER DOUGHERTY: Veteran shoots for success


For junior Heather Dougherty, soccer is far more than an after-school activity, it’s a passion that blossomed at an early age.

Her interest in the sport first piqued when she watched her older sister play for Edison High School. It wasn’t long until she began to practice drills and score goals herself.

“When I was younger, I played with the other kids on the street,” Dougherty said. Many days were spent kicking around a ball underneath the warm California sun. Such positive childhood experiences encouraged her to try-out for the soccer team upon entering high school.

Now beginning her third season as a Delta Queen, Dougherty makes it a point to motivate the newcomers and strives to build up their self-esteem. “I’ll tell them they did a good job when they pull off certain plays,” she said. Reinforcement often goes a long way in solidifying a team’s bond, which can be a major factor for success.

According to Dougherty, one of the best attributes of Stagg’s soccer program is the coaching staff. “They’ve taught me to keep my head up and always persevere,” she said. Every time she steps on the field, Dougherty aims to perform at her highest level and make her coaches proud. “It’s such a great feeling when I score, especially in front of them.”

As for this season, Dougherty has fair expectations. While the team has lost several key players, their transitional period seems to be going smooth. “I feel confident in our chances going forward,” she said. “We just need to stay dedicated and continue to work together.”