Fifteen years ago, a young six-year-old Nick Doktor scored a goal in a spring youth lacrosse league. However, he scored from the crease, thus rendering the goal moot, a nuance of the rules that the young player did not really understand at the time. The referees let his mistake slide and Doktor’s goal counted anyway.
Over a decade and a half later, Doktor is readying for his senior season wearing the Red and Blue and leading the offense for Penn men’s lacrosse. The memories of 15 years ago remain salient in the attacker’s mind as he readies to turn a new chapter in his career in the sport.
Now a senior captain, Doktor has been an asset to the Quakers since his freshman season in 2013. In his three-year tenure at Penn, the Rochester, N.Y., native has seen action in all 41 of Penn’s games during that time frame, starting in 34, including every game as a sophomore and junior. In those minutes, Doktor accumulated 56 goals and 59 assists.
But there is much more to Doktor than his stat sheet shows.
According to coach Mike Murphy, “His greatest asset is his mind.
“What sets him apart and has allowed him to become the player he has is his vision of the game and his understanding of the game. He knows where everyone is at all times and his reliable stick-work allows him to score.”
While Doktor saw action in all his freshman games, his role as a team leader and now as captain has been slowly developing over the years.
“My role on the team has changed from being a young guy,” Doktor said. “More of a follower in my freshman and sophomore year to more of a leadership role in my junior, senior year.”
“He’s doing a great job as a captain,” Murphy said. “And just expect him to keep leading our offense, getting everyone on the same page and make sure we’re organized down there.”
One of Doktor’s favorite moments with the team — an annual tradition called “The Program” — speaks to the truth of his leadership role on the team.
“Ex-Navy SEALs come in and train us in workouts and things related to building leadership and team skills,” Doktor said. “It’s a pretty grueling work out but by the end it does a good job of brining the team together through adversity.”
Doktor’s leadership and dedication show beyond his skills on the field. His selflessness, according to Murphy, is reflected by his stat line: He has more assists than goals even though he is an exceptionally talented attack.
“He’s just a really good guy, someone you trust down there to do the right thing,” Murphy said.
While Murphy and Doktor are both focued on the upcoming season, the senior attack has the option to continue his lacrosse career beyond graduation.
Early this winter, he was drafted 18th in the second round to the Charlotte Hounds of Major League Lacrosse.
The selection made Doktor the highest draft pick in Penn men’s lacrosse history, eclipsing the previous mark set by D.J. Andrzejewski, who went in the third round of the draft.
“The draft was obviously a pretty cool experience, it’s something that was a goal of mine, something I was looking forward to,” Doktor said. “But I’m really focused on the season right now.”
Because of the timing of the MLL draft, he’ll have to wait a little while longer to realize his professional dreams as he enters his final year with the Red and Blue.
So while Doktor has an exciting plan come May, the focus now is on this last season.
“I want to make it the best one yet.”
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.