Loud popping noises filled Auna Doria’s ears as pain quickly engulfed her knee. Instantly, Doria knew she would be taken out of the game she loved — the game of soccer.
Because of a torn ACL, Doria, a senior forward on the BYU women’s soccer team, was unable to complete the rest of her final college soccer season. Although a major part of Doria’s life had been ripped from her hands, she kept a positive attitude by adhering to her husband’s motto — keep moving forward.
Doria began playing soccer at the age of 4, and immediately knew it was something she loved. She spent hours everyday in the backyard and basement, as she learned and perfected skills that would make her a better player. Even though she spent the majority of her time with a soccer ball, Doria said it was worth the time.
- BYU forward Auna Doria (middle) stands on the sideline before the second half of Saturday’s match against San Diego at South Field.
“It was sometimes hard to balance all of the aspects of my life,” Doria said. “Many times, I would end the day physically and emotionally drained, but it was always worth it because I loved playing and felt so much fulfillment and enjoyment in progressing and pushing myself.”
By the time Doria was 13, she was playing for Avalanche, one of the best club soccer teams in Utah. With Doria’s help, her team won several tournaments and state cups. While playing soccer in high school, Doria was named Varsity Offensive MVP all four years and served as the team captain her senior year. From there, she played on semi-professional teams, including the Utah Rush and the Utah Spiders.
All of Doria’s hard work and dedication didn’t go unnoticed by BYU women’s soccer coach Jennifer Rockwood. From the moment Rockwood saw Doria as a youth player, she knew Doria had something special.
“The first thing that stood out as I watched Auna was what you call her engine — her work rate,” Rockwood said. “It is just non-stop. She is such a competitor and she works so hard and that’s a big trait and characteristic that we look for in players when we are recruiting.”
Not only did Doria work hard, but she also displayed high levels of confidence on the field.
- Auna Doria fights for a match against Weber State in 2010.
“Auna had the confidence and the desire to go forward — go to the goal,” Rockwood said. “She liked to take people on and she liked to get her shot off.”
As a freshman in college, Doria played in all 24 games, scoring three game-winning goals that season. Up until her injury, she played in every game except one during her entire college soccer career.
Doria’s injury came as a shock to her teammates, and junior defender Lindsi Lisonbee said the team misses having her out on the field.
“Auna is a huge part of our team,” Lisonbee said. “She is one of the most positive people — one of the most amazing girls on our team. It’s hard, but we play for her.”
Senior forward Jennie Marshall agrees with Lisonbee and said the team could always count on Doria to bring a positive outlook to the most negative situations.
“Auna is the single most positive, most influential person on our team, and I think everyone would agree with that,” Marshall said. “If ever there is a down practice, she is the one that is always happy and trying to pick us up. We are sad she is not able to finish her senior year with us playing on the field, but her being on the bench means just as much.”
While the injury has been hard for her, Doria said she has received ample support from teammates, family and especially her husband, Ronald.
Auna met her husband while the two were playing soccer, and she gives him much of the credit for her positive outlook through the injury.
“He has been so supportive,” Doria said. “He helped me try to be my best on the field, but then at the end of the day, he also helps me remember who I am, putting soccer aside.”
Although her college soccer career was cut short, Doria left with few regrets because she believes she took full advantage of the opportunities given to her.
“That was one of my focuses this season — to live in the moment, in the present because we can’t control the future,” Doria said. “In our minds we so often live in the future or in the past, so we are not taking full advantage of the moment.”
But Dora said he injury won’t keep her from playing soccer in the future.
“My leg will be healed in six to eight months,” Doria said. “I will definitely be playing soccer again.”