Our Lady of Good Counsel High School junior midfielder Imani Dorsey can do just about anything on the soccer field.
She is fast, can shoot accurately with both feet and is quite creative with the ball to effectively set her teammates up to score.
While too many options can be the downfall of a talented athlete, perhaps Dorsey’s best strength is the quickness and decisiveness with which she makes her move.
“When Imani decides to either make a touch on the ball or take a shot, it’s amazing how quickly she changes speed,” Good Counsel coach Jim Bruno said. “She has the ability to change gears quickly.”
Dorsey’s quick shifts are the product of great field vision and anticipation, Bruno said. The three-year starter sees the field as well as any midfielder across this soccer-rich county.
Senior forward Midge Purce, who plays for the U.S. U-17 National Team, scored a county-high 30 goals for Good Counsel in 2011. But Dorsey, who has verbally committed to play soccer at Duke University starting in 2014, still found a way to add 22.
It’s certainly not a competition, Bruno said. And Dorsey said she doesn’t pay attention to scoring numbers.
The significant jump in her scoring production — Dorsey tallied nine goals and a team-best 14 assists as a freshman in 2010 — is a sign of her maturity as a player and her willingness to take on more responsibilities and risks.
Good Counsel, seeking its third Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title in four years, is going to need that, especially early this fall while Purce is in Europe playing for the National Team in the U-17 World Cup.
True strikers have a different mindset when on the attack, and while Dorsey doesn’t always think “score first” she said has become more comfortable taking the initiative in the final third.
Bruno said he is impressed by the high conversion rate on her shots.
“You can be right in front of the goal and not even be thinking about scoring,” Dorsey said. “My goal when I go out onto the field is to win. My other goal is to help my teammates so we can win. If I happen to be in scoring position I’m going to score. If we don’t win then I feel like I didn’t do my job. The goals that come [with winning] are a great bonus but the team aspect is more important.”
Dorsey is second on the team with three goals and an assist in three games this season. Purce leads the team with six goals. Good Counsel is 3-0.
Along with the developments as a more well-rounded player, Bruno said Dorsey has become a tremendous leader on the team as a junior captain.
Perhaps part of the reason for that has been trying to set a good example for her younger sister, freshman forward Nia.
It’s the first time the two have been able to play on the same team and Dorsey said it’s been special.
With Purce absent until mid-October the younger Dorsey could become another major scoring threat for the Falcons. The two sisters have a connection and read on each other that cannot be taught.
“It’s funny because I will play a ball over the top and not expect anyone to get there and then all of a sudden she will be there,” Imani said. “We just know how to read each other after watching each other play for so long, we just understand each other.”
Imani has been part of the player pool for the National Team and said her ultimate goal is to represent the United States at the Olympics someday.
Though she said she is amazed by U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan’s tenacity and natural ability in the attacking third, Dorsey added that she admired midfielder Tobin Heath’s composure as a 20-year old in the 2008 Olympics.
“[Heath] was so calm on the ball. She just knew what to do,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey plays a similarly at the high school level. She always seems to know what to do.
“I’ll use the term cobra. Imani is like a cobra,” Bruno said. “She does things so quickly. That’s what [coaches] like about her, her ability to change speed so quickly.“