Doue Anxious For '11 Opener
- By Grant Dovey
- July 20, 2011 12:51 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - When the 2011 West Virginia University men’s soccer schedule was released earlier this year, junior forward Peabo Doue immediately circled the date August 26.
Not only was this date marked because it is the season opener against Virginia, but more importantly, because it will be played at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Doue’s hometown of Germantown, Md.
“I already told all of my family members and friends to be there,” Doue said. “There is no better way to open the season than in your hometown. The home openers at Dick Dlesk are always great, but this is going to be a cool feeling because my family, friends and coaches will be there.”
After the trip through Germantown, the Mountaineers will travel to College Park., Md., to take on Terrapins, which finished sixth in the country last year with a 19-3-1 record. Doue believes that the experience playing perennial powerhouses Virginia and Maryland in the opening weekend will help prepare the team for both BIG EAST and NCAA tournament play.
“It’s going to be a big test for us and going to Maryland is going to be a hostile environment,” Doue commented. “Those fans will be crazy, but that is when we have to be mentally strong. It’s good for us to be tested early to have a successful run at the season.”
Doue is spending the summer in Morgantown and splitting time between academics and getting ready for the 2011 season.
“Right now most of the guys are taking classes, working out and playing pick-up games,” Doue said. “It’s fun to be here in the summer, and we know that if we were going home we wouldn’t be getting better.”
Doue is currently taking two classes to get ahead academically and is hopeful of being able to focus more time on being a leader on the pitch when eight freshmen arrive on campus for camp on Aug. 9.
“I just need to step up and become a leader. I’ve had many conversations with Coach (Marlon LeBlanc) talking about being a leader,” Doue said. “I don’t know too much about the new kids coming in, but I’m going to teach them as much as I can and learn from their games as well.”
West Virginia under LeBlanc has been known for its stout defensive play, but the addition of the eight freshmen now provides the depth at all positions and makes the Mountaineers much more dangerous in all facets of the game.
“We have a lot of bodies and a lot of versatility as far as being able to play different positions,” Doue said. “We’re very strong on offense this season and it is something we have worked on since I got here. We have always been known as a strong defensive team, but we are becoming more balanced.”
As Doue continues to work hard in the summer, he will not only keep his eye on the date for the season opener, but also Dec. 11 - the date for the 2011 NCAA men’s soccer national championship.
That is certainly something lofty to shoot for.
West Virginia University Mountaineers
NCAA men's soccer