Talk about charmed lives.
El Toro High School's Kim Doleman, a sophomore forward on the Charger girls' soccer team, has twice been named all-league, once all-Southern Section and is The Times' Player of the Year in soccer.
Besides the personal accomplishments, Doleman, along with teammate Kim Carlander, led El Toro to the Southern Section 4-A final where the Chargers lost to Claremont, 3-2.
Oh, there have been little problems Doleman has had to overcome.
Such as the fact that at 5-foot tall, she's usually five to seven inches shorter than her opponents.
"I'm sneaking up on 5-1," Doleman said with a grin.
Though she said she's never seen her height as a disadvantage, it hasn't stopped other players trying to intimidate her. Doleman has heard the taunts so often that she seems bored with them.
"They usually say something like, 'I'm going to take you out you little . . .,' " Doleman said. "I just let them talk. It doesn't bother me at all."
In fact, what others believe is a drawback, Doleman sees differently.
"I think I have an advantage being smaller than the other players," Doleman said. "I can usually maneuver better on the field than the person who's guarding me. There is sometimes a problem heading the ball, but I've never felt that I'm at a disadvantage because I was short."
Doleman's strength lies in her versatility and a keen feel for the game.
When she's on the field, Doleman says she can anticipate when things are going to happen. She knows where the ball is going to go before it's kicked. If she has her back to a teammate, she still knows how to get the ball to her.
"It's weird. I just know what's going to happen," Doleman said. "If one of our players is around, I don't have to see her. I just know she's there."
Maybe it's a result of 10 years of play that began when her father, Iain--a native of Scotland--started her at age 6. But even he is sometimes surprised by his daughter's play.
"She does things on the soccer field that I never taught her," said Iain, who came to the United States 27 years ago. "She'll take the things people teach her and add to them. She'll make the moves her own."
El Toro Coach Bob Chavez: "You don't coach a player like Kim. There's nothing you can tell them. You just let them play and help them when they have a problem. She's such a fast learner. I'll show her something at the beginning of practice, and by the time practice is over, she's mastered the move."
Her instincts, coupled with natural athletic ability--she's a sprinter on the Charger track team--makes Doleman one of the most versatile players around.
Adept at scoring--she had 23 goals this season and 11 assists--she is often given the assignment of guarding the opposing team's top player.
In El Toro's semifinal match against defending 4-A champion Torrance, Doleman was assigned to guard two-time all-Southern Section player Shannon Maddox.
"She completely shut Shannon down," Chavez said. "We use her wherever we think she'll help us the most. She is remarkable the way she can adjust to any situation or position."
The Chargers defeated the Tartars, who came into the game with a 45-game winning streak, 3-2, but lost to Claremont in the final.
"That was really disappointing," Doleman said. "I think we got so up for the Torrance game that we forgot about Claremont."
With two years left at El Toro, it's not likely that opposing players or coaches will forget about Kim Doleman.
Name School Pos. Class Joy Biefield Edison Forward Jr. Heidi Brown University Forward Jr. Kim Doleman El Toro Forward So. M. von Flowtow La Quinta Forward Sr. Kim Dutton Mission Viejo Halfback Jr. Kim Schiel Laguna Hills Halfback Sr. Shelly Williams La Quinta Halfback Jr. Mandi Robertson Edison Fullback Sr. Daphne Schafer El Toro Fullback Jr. Shelly Trimble Troy Fullback Sr. Treanna Clinton Laguna Hills Goal Sr.
SECOND TEAM Forward: Kim Carlander (El Toro) Jr., Kristen Harkins (La Quinta) So., Tressa Stroud (Laguna Hills) Sr. Halfback: Autumn Hayes (Villa Park), Sr., Karen Nance (Capistrano Valley) Jr., Durielle Petrossi (Troy), Sr., Janell Rogers (Edison) Jr. Fullback: Lynn Bercaw (Corona del Mar) Sr., Kim Jensen (Capistrano Valley) Jr., Stacey Tackett (Brea Olinda) Jr. Goal: Wendy Croxton (Esperanza) Sr.