Doue: New conference and new changes
When Peabo Doue first started playing soccer at age seven, it was only meant to keep him busy. It gave him something fun to do when he was out of school to occupy some free time. He played soccer and basketball in recreational leagues in his hometown, eventually dropping basketball because he believed he could excel in soccer.
After playing on multiple school and club teams, scoring numerous goals along the way and making a bigger name for himself each year, it seems clear that he made the right decision.
Doue has been a stand-out in soccer for many years now. The senior is set to graduate this December, but has been making waves since before he entered high school.
At Clarksburg High, Doue finished his career with 44 goals and 29 assists. He was a varsity starter for three years and was named team MVP twice. In 2008, he brought his team to the state championship and was named the Maryland Soccer Coaches’ all-state first-team forward. During his junior and senior years, he was the team captain and led his squad in scoring.
All of the above made Doue a favorite during college recruitment.
“There were a few schools that were trying to recruit me,” Doue said. “I got some interest from West Virginia because they had seen me play in a tournament. I wasn’t really sure, but I came to visit and I really loved Morgantown and it all started from there.”
Doue said he knows that he made the right choice. As tough as it is adjusting to the collegiate level of sports, he said that WVU was a good fit and the constant support he received helped him to make it through.
The Germantown, Md., native also recalls a big moment during his freshman season that made him feel right at home on the men’s soccer team.
“I always talk about my first goal against Buffalo. It was the second game of a tournament we were hosting. The game had gone into double overtime and there were 55 seconds left and I ended up scoring. I won’t ever forget about that.
“I remember my mom and my high school coach were so proud of me. My coach was also a sociology teacher and he showed my goal to all of his classes,” Doue said with a laugh.
Doue has come a long way since then, but hit one bump in the road last year. He began to feel pain in his hip last summer before the season started, but played anyway…through the entire season.
“By the end of the season, it was determined that it was a labral tear,” Doue explained. “It needed to be repaired and they had to shave down some of my hip bone. I had that procedure done in January of this year and sat out most of the spring season.
“Our training staff did a great job, as well as UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) who performed the surgery. My hip gets sore sometimes, but for the most part, it feels good.”
Over the summer, Doue wasted no time getting back into shape. He played with D.C. United’s Under 23 team to help him get back to where he was before his injury. In the past, Doue played for D.C. Academy’s Under 16 and Under 18 teams and over the years, he’s played almost every position on the soccer field. That skill will come in handy this season, as the athlete has changed positions.
During his time spent at WVU, Doue has played forward. This year, he is a defender.
“For the past three years, my best spot was up top playing forward and sometimes in the midfield on the wing. I actually didn’t know until preseason this year that I was going to be playing in the back. I played this position a little with the U.S. men’s national team, so Marlon (LeBlanc) gave me a try there and it’s been working out. I’ve played almost every position except goalie and I think that’s something the coach knew when he recruited me.”
Doue is comfortable in his new position. He and senior Uwem Etuk practiced frequently during the off-season and Doue noticed a lot of chemistry with his teammate. They both notice the connection carrying over during games. Doue said it’s been working out well so far.
Although there has been no conference play as of yet, Doue is excited to see what the Mid-American Conference is all about. He said that the teams in this conference are known for being very physical, but he is looking forward to competing against them.
“I’m anxious to see a lot of the new teams we’ll be playing,” Doue said. “I’ve heard a lot about Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, they both have good programs. We played Akron a few years ago and they put on a good show.
“Right now, we’re just taking it game by game, trying to put ourselves in a good spot for the end of the year.”
Once he leaves West Virginia, Doue hopes to go to Europe, either to play soccer or to make a living doing something sports-related. He hopes to do so with a ring on his finger…either an NCAA or a MAC championship ring.
The past few years, the men’s soccer team has made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament and Doue is eager to get past that point this year.
“I think it’s very possible,” Doue said confidently. “We have a very talented group.”
The group hopes to make the 2012 season unforgettable. Doue and his teammates will play their next home game on September 15th and their first MAC game on September 2
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