Now a senior, Stout a ‘head figure’ for WKU soccer team

Austin Lanter

Four wins were all that separated senior goalkeeper Libby Stout from being WKU’s all-time winningest player when the season started. 

That number is now down to one, and with two home matches this weekend, it’s possible she could pass that mark in front of a home crowd.

Stout shrugged off the idea that she could set a record, but her achievements on the field aren’t hard to notice. As a freshman, she rewrote the record books en route to a 14-1-3 record in goal and a Most Valuable Player award. Along the way she’s held several shutout streaks and has been named to the All-Sun Belt Conference team each year.

“She has just always had that leadership role where anyone can come up to her and talk to her about anything, even as a freshman,” senior midfielder Kelsey Meyer said. “I think that’s a big part about being captain.”

Stout’s relationship with her teammates is something that means a lot to her, even more than any of the records that she holds or will hold when her collegiate career ends.

“The records are nice to have. I wouldn’t take anything away from what I’ve done,” Stout said. “But the people I’ve met here mean the most to me. I’ll carry these people with me the rest of my life.”

Stout added that her teammates are her best friends and her sisters, saying they’ve gotten her through a lot.

Head Coach Jason Neidell said Stout is a leader both on and off the field — part of why she’s a team captain for the Lady Toppers.

Neidell described her as someone who’s not only a vocal leader, but a leader by example as well.

“On the field we look to her to make big saves and we look to her to show us the mentality that we should have every game,” he said. “Off the field, she is just a good kid with a really good character, and she’s assertive. She’s willing to speak her mind and say what she thinks needs to happen.”

Meyer agreed and said that having Stout lead the team is important for developing younger players. 

“They can all look up to her and see this is how they should be and this is how they should act in their four years,” she said “Hopefully they will be just like Libby.”

Even though Meyer is the same age as Stout, she said Stout has such a huge influence on the team that everyone looks up to her, including herself and the other seniors. She called Stout a “head figure” for the team.

By the time her senior season ends, Stout will hold multiple records and awards for the success she’s had as a goalkeeper at WKU. 

But Stout said she’s just thankful for the experience.

“It has meant everything to me,” Stout said. “I have always wanted to play college soccer, and Western has been the perfect place for me. I wouldn’t take it back for the world. I wouldn’t change anything about it.”