CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BigSouthSports.com) -
The Big South Conference
, in conjunction with Collegiate Partner Musco Sports Lighting
, continues its monthly "Musco Women's Spotlight" feature. This month's spotlight is Radford senior women's soccer goalkeeper Lisa Lubke
Lubke and her teammates won the 2011 Big South Conference Women's Soccer Championship following their first Big South title since Lubke's freshman year of 2008. She rounded out her senior season with six shutouts, 47 saves, a .783 save percentage and a 1.08 goals against average in 935:11 minutes played. When not competing, the exercise and sports studies major represents her fellow student-athletes as a member of the Radford Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Click on the accompanying video to watch Lubke's interview, and read below her reflections on her senior year, her experience as a two-time Conference champion, playing ACC foe Duke twice in her collegiate career, and the phone application that she cannot live without. Some responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.
How different was winning the 2008 Conference Championship from the 2011 Championship?
The 2008 Conference Championship had a much more intense feeling to it. It was my first tournament and I wasn't sure what to expect. I had no idea how cutthroat the play in the tournament could get. All of our games were 2-,1 so the games were much closer and nerve wrecking for me as a freshman moving through the tournament. I remember my adrenaline pumping so hard the last five minutes of that Championship game and being so shocked we had actually done it. We had won. My emotions going into the NCAA Tournament freshman year was an extreme amount of nerves. Playing a well-established program like Duke was scary at that point in my career. This year winning the Conference Championship was amazing. As a senior, you approach the tournament with a lot of excitement and readiness. It's the culmination of your four years of collegiate soccer. At that point you don't want it to end. You want to really make an impact at your school and leave a bit of a legacy in the program you're leaving. I was extremely excited and our team was starting to feel like the team from 2008 so I was extremely confident. Every individual that stepped on the field in the tournament increased their work rate to another level they had not touched during the season. That's what it takes to win a championship.
How were your emotions different going into the 2008 NCAA Tournament from the 2011 tournament?
Going in to the NCAA Tournament in 2011 was amazing. I didn't have much nerves because I had now played against well-established programs like Wake Forest and Ohio State and felt confident to step on the field against them. It was an awesome feeling to be there again and see all of the underclassmen experiencing it for the first time. Myself and the other seniors were excited to get a second shot at playing Duke.
After four years of being a student-athlete, how do you feel you have developed into a leader?
Spending four years as an athlete, you learn a lot about team chemistry and being led as well as developing into a leader. Playing the position of goalkeeper, I'm asked to be a leader every time I step on the field, from freshman to senior year. Through the years, observing upperclassmen has taught me a lot about what traits and behaviors are admirable in a leader and what actions are counterproductive to a team. By my senior year, I've come to realize leadership isn't about telling people what to do and organizing them. It's about learning about the people you're working with and showing them how to succeed. It's about working hard enough and setting an example to gain the respect of the people you are leading. It's not only about getting a task accomplished. Being a leader is being someone people admire, that they can feel comfortable talking to and giving input to about situations that come up.
What knowledge or skills do you want to instill in your young team?
These young players in the program have an incredible amount of potential. The biggest thing in a young team is having confidence, not only in yourself, but in your teammates. Team cohesion is a huge part of the success of any season. Trusting each other 100 percent is how success happens. I would tell them to be extremely excited for their future years and what they can achieve at Radford because this program is improving each year with the new girls coming in. Make the most of each moment on the field because the four years will fly by before you even realize it.
What is your most memorable experience from the Big South's Leadership Conference?
My most memorable experience from the Leadership Conference was listening to the CRONS owners talk about their business and the philosophy they place behind it. I hope to own my own business one day so it was an amazing chance to hear how they started and grew into what they are now.
If you could only have one app on your phone, what would it be?
Twitter. It's the app on my phone now that drains my battery because I'm constantly on it.
READ THE PREVIOUS "MUSCO WOMEN'S SPOTLIGHTS"
Jennifer Klugh, Liberty
Becca Toor, Winthrop
Lauren Garza, Campbell