One Game At A Time

By Taylor Gelbrich

Jack-of-all-trades is what comes to mind when talking about junior Oregon Ducks defender Scout Libke.

The Portland, Ore., native came to the University of Oregon as a decorated prep after she won three state club championships and was a four-time letter winner in high school. She also led her team to the 2007 and 2008 state championship while garnering a 2008 First Team All-State selection.

Libke is a natural center midfielder, but is playing defender for the first time this year for the Ducks. The Ducks are off to a 6-7-1 start on the season.

But soccer isn't the only thing on Libke's mind these days. Libke's brother is in the army and is currently in Germany training, and might be deployed to Afghanistan in May of next year.

The name Scout comes from the book to To Kill A Mockingbird, because the main character would follow her brother around and get into trouble. After that, her mother started to call her Scout.

Libke's brother started playing soccer at the age of six and though she was three years younger, she started playing right away.

"I played with boys for a few years, and then I started club early, so I've always had that motivation to be one-up on people," Libke said.

Her brother has been one of the main forces behind her drive to succeed. He is always in the back of her mind and is a daily inspiration for her both on and off the field.

Libke was selected to the U.S Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program's Under-19 team last summer. She played in three games in Germany and also was able to watch three Women's World Cup matches. Though both her brother and Libke were in Germany at the same time, they were not able to see each other because of her hectic schedule.

Between playing a team-high 1,825 minutes in the 2010 season, spring practice, Germany, and now the 2011 season it seems Libke won't be taking it easy for her junior year.

"I tore my meniscus in my senior year of high school, and I had no idea because I will basically play through anything. I would have the stomach flu during the day at school then miss school and then go to practice," Libke said "I just won't stop ever, but I haven't really noticed any wearing down. I just keep trucking along."

For Oregon, it is all about focusing on what they do well. With only six games left in the season, they will have to make a push to make the NCAA tournament. Libke believes the Ducks will have to take it one game at a time.

"I think we just tend to freak out when we play teams who have a name behind them or a ranking. We have to take it one game at a time and focus on what we do well instead of focusing on the other team so much," said Libke.

The Ducks are making a lot of transitions this season with multiple injured players and freshmen in the starting lineup. Libke is also making a transition from midfield to defender. It isn't her skill set that sets her apart, but her smarts.

"You have to read the game really well. You are pretty much in charge of the entire team," said Libke. "I just read the game really well. I am not fast and I am not huge, but I just read people really well since I played midfield." said Libke.

Four of the final six games are at home for the Ducks. Libke knows the season will be over before they know it.

"We can't have any regrets. We can't take anything for granted because in a second it will be gone and the season goes by faster than you will expect it," said Libke.

The Ducks take on Colorado in Boulder this Sunday.

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