Dowd, GHS aim to extend 5A playoff run


Published: Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 1:10 a.m.
When then-Eastside senior Liz Theurer became the area's soccer goal-scoring queen in December 2005, she talked about how excited she was before adding "I'm happy I did it, and good luck to whoever's going to break it next."
Theurer didn't give a name, but there was little doubt the person she was talking about.
Now a junior, Emily Dowd leads Gainesville (17-5-2) into tonight's regional quarterfinal at Jacksonville Bartram Trail (18-1-4). For her career she has 130 goals, 21 behind the total Theurer combined to get with the Rams and, earlier in high school with Oak Hall.
But goals, while nice for the resume, aren't even Dowd's favorite part of the game she has played since she was 5.
"I don't think scoring is everything," Dowd said. "I would rather find someone for a goal than score one myself."
Dowd's ability to create for herself and teammates drew notice from numerous major colleges around the country.
Initially, she committed to Florida, but changed her mind around New Year's and said she will sign with Tennessee, the same place Oak Hall junior (and good friend) Emily Shore will play.
"I made a hasty decision (committing to the Gators)," Dowd said. "I just kind of jumped on it quickly before going over everything.
"But I actually want to go away to college and I really liked everyone up at Tennessee (when I visited in September)."
Dowd said her commitment is set and her focus is on helping the Hurricanes to what she hopes is an FHSAA Class 5A state championship.
Despite a 2-1 loss to host Ocala Forest in the District 4-5A tournament final last week, Dowd said she believes her team is in good shape for the playoffs.
"We're possessing and passing really well," Dowd said. "We're finding open teammates and that is leading to goals.
"I can't really think of anything we need to work on."
And what would make Dowd happier - scoring the winning goal or passing to a teammate for the winning goal against Bartram Trail?
After a brief pause she said, "the assist. Definitely, the assist."
Contact John Patton at 374-5074 or pattonj@gvillesun.com.

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