South Girls' Player of the Year Alex Dorr Always Believed
Dorr believed a state championship could happen her senior year. She made it happen.
Borrowing a script from the hit Apple TV show “Ted Lasso,” American Heritage-Delray head coach John McClain’s theme for the 2023 season had one word: Believe.
No one embodied this theme more than midfielder Alex Dorr. It’s how she led American Heritage-Delray to a state championship in 2023. It’s also why she is USA Lacrosse South Girls’ Player of the Year.
“She believed in herself, she believed in her team,” McClain said. “And that actually was our word of the year. She just stepped up on a big level. You know, this is a kid that has been preparing for that state championship for years.”
And she surely stepped up. She did a bit of everything, scoring goals, winning draws, firing clears and winning ground balls. Dorr had 30 goals and 16 ground balls, but it was her work in the draw circle that set her apart. She had 138 self draws this season.
Coming a game away from winning a state championship a year ago left Dorr hungry for an opportunity to win the title. There was little resistance in the Stallions’ path to a state championship this time around.
American Heritage-Delray won all its playoff games by at least seven goals. She chalked up the path to a state title to hard work and practice.
“After last year, we wanted to win the championship even more, work even harder,” she said. “We worked so hard every single practice, gave 100 percent. Always.”
Although she is one of the stars of the South Region and is committed to Denver, her coach says she doesn’t take her role for granted.
“She has that mentality of being committed to her craft, getting better every single day,” McClain said.
But McClain doesn’t dismiss her athleticism. He pointed to her speed and dodging ability as secrets to her success.
“That's a rarity to see a taller kid that has that agility,” McClain said. “So, I knew she'd be special going forward here and just rolling into her body and learning the game a lot more. And, working on her craft, draw controls, shooting and dodging.”
The state championship was a perfect capstone to a youth career that dates back to the first grade. She started out as a goalie until the fifth grade before switching to midfield. That gave her a chance to influence both ends of the field.
By the end of middle school, she started to take lacrosse more seriously at the midfield spot. Now she is planning to take her talents from the beaches of South Florida to the mountains of Colorado. Dorr said she has only seen snow a couple times in her life.
She said her family wanted her to find a program outside of Florida. Given she had an offer from Denver, a Final Four participant this year for the first time in program history, she easily obliged.
“I just thought it was a perfect fit with the awesome coaches,” she said. “And my mom and I visited Denver, and I felt like all the players were so nice to me and I just felt a really good connection with them.”
Teammate Dakota Riggio will join her at Denver. Dorr said she didn’t know Riggio was signing with Denver until she made her announcement.
“It was just, ‘Oh my god, we’re going to Denver.’ It was so surprising. We had no idea that we were going there together,” she said.
At Denver, she’ll get to join American Heritage-Delray grad Anna Palmisano, with whom she only got to play a handful of games in high school in 2020 due to the COVID-19 disruption.
“Really cannot be more excited. Amazing players, amazing team,” she said about the Pioneers.