The COVID-19 pandemic prevented Elks sophomore midfielder Isabella Dols from playing for the Elks varsity girls lacrosse team in 2020.
She hasn’t missed a beat in 2021, her first season with the team. Dols leads the Elks with 18 goals and 23 points in seven games this season along with five assists.
Dols said she is thankful for having an opportunity to play this season after the pandemic canceled what could have been her freshman season.
“COVID-19 has taught me to be grateful,” Dols said. “It was a huge shock losing our season last year. That was such a shock to me because I didn’t think we would go into a shutdown like that. This year, I was hoping and praying that we could have any type of season, no matter the restrictions, even if it was no spectators or limited games. I just wanted to play some lacrosse.”
Dols began playing lacrosse around the time she was in sixth grade. All of her friends started to play and she thought that it would be a fun thing to do during the summer.
She said her favorite aspect about lacrosse is the team aspect.
“We’re all in it, together, whether we win or lose,” Dols said. “It’s really nice to have your teammates behind you with everything.”
Dols has scored at least two goals in each of Elk River’s seven games so far this season. She scored four consecutive hat tricks between Saturday, April 24, and Monday, May 3. She scored three goals in the Elks’ 11-6 win over Moorhead on Saturday, April 24, and another in Elk River’s 19-9 loss to Andover on Monday, April 26. She scored two more hat tricks: one in the Elks’ 15-9 loss to Centennial on Wednesday, April 28, and one on Monday, May 3, in Elk River’s 9-8 loss to Maple Grove.
Dols credits her offensive success to her teammates.
“Every goal I’ve [scored] has come from a pass from one of them,” she said. “They do half the work and I do the easy part. It’s about team connectivity. This is my first year on varsity and the whole varsity program has been welcoming to me and all the other first-year girls. That’s a big part of it. I’ve never felt left out. I don’t think anyone else has either.”
Elks head coach Stephanie Anderson said Dols always has a positive attitude and is hard-working.
“Her aggressiveness and always being there for the ground balls and always getting open,” Anderson said. “She’s always winning to come to me after practice, [saying], ‘What can I do better? How can I get myself better?’ She’s always positive. She encourages the teammates.”
When she’s not playing lacrosse or doing homework, Dols is a member of the Elk River High School chapter of DECA, a club for high school and college students who want to pursue careers in business, finance, hospitality and marketing. She is also an avid musician. Dols plays piano and guitar. Her favorite genre is pop. She learns how to play songs that she loves to listen to on the guitar and the piano. Dols favorite artist is rapper Kanye West. She also likes classical music. Her favorite composer is 18th-century German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in music history.
Dols said that once one can read music, one can do almost anything with music.
“No matter how hard a piece is, you can break it down and put it together, piece by piece,” Dols said.” “That’s how I play lacrosse, too. If I’m struggling with something, like recently, I was struggling with my power shots, I [broke] it down. I had to start with doing the right head movement and then, I added in the footwork. Then, I added the stick work. Finally, I put it all together. I’ve actually [scored] some goals off of some power shots in games, recently. I break it down to the basics and put it together, piece by piece. I like doing that on piano and guitar.”
Mother’s Day was on Sunday, May 9. Dols said she thanks her mother, Colleen Dols, for allowing her to play lacrosse.
“‘Thank you for putting up with all the long drives and all the sweaty, smelly lacrosse bags in your car,’” she said. “I can only play lacrosse because of her and the rest of my family. [They] make it possible to play the sport that I love."