April 26, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Former Washington State soccer player Liz Duncan was killed Saturday after being hit by a car while jogging in Seattle. Duncan, who played for the Cougars from 1998-2001, was 26.
"First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Duncan family and the countless friends and people that Liz Duncan touched," said former WSU head coach Dan Tobias, who coached Duncan during her four years as a Cougar. "It would be a massive understatement to say that it is truly an honor to be asked to share my thoughts about a person as special as Liz. After much thought, I may have found a word that best describes her and it's a word that I have found myself using a lot when it comes to Liz Duncan: GREAT.
"You see, I had the unique experience of watching her grow during her time in college and the many years after," continued Tobias. "Most of our conversations and her messages to me would be, "Dan the Man, what's up? I'm so pumped about my job with Brooks and I'm doin'...GREAT!" I would find myself telling friends, 'I talked with Liz, she was so enthusiastic and she's doing...great!' She used that word so frequently and I think it's appropriate because I believe she made everyone she met feel great.
"There are many definitions of that word, yet I found one that relates to Liz: `markedly superior in character or quality.' I always looked forward to reading the monthly or bi-monthly updates from Liz's travels and work with Athletes In Action. Her remarkable work with so many different cultures and people touched so many lives in such a short period of time. She made the world a better place...a great place. She set such great standards and our lives are so much greater because of our time with Liz. She has made an indelible mark on my life and I'm betting that anyone that crossed paths with her said to themselves, `Liz Duncan, what a great person'."
Duncan appeared in 72 matches for WSU, starting 68 games and totaling five goals, 13 assists and 23 points over the course of her four-year career. Duncan's 13 career assists tie her for fifth place on WSU's career records list.
Current WSU assistant coach Lindsey Jorgensen and Duncan were teammates during those four years.
"She was one of the most vibrant and passionate people I've ever met," Jorgensen said. "She had an amazing relationship with God that transformed her life and gave her a purpose for all that she did. I know definitely that she would want everyone to celebrate life with the perspective of Christ being an important part of (their lives)."
The defender's standout season came as a junior in 2000. That year, Duncan tied a WSU single-season record with eight assists, a record that still stands today. She received All-Pacific-10 honorable mention honors for her efforts and helped lead former WSU head coach Dan Tobias' team to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the team's first appearance since 1994.
"I had the pleasure of meeting Liz on a number of occasions here in Pullman and, in doing so, experienced all the qualities that made Liz Duncan such a special person," said WSU head coach Matt Potter. "She truly made everything shine brighter and I will remember her smile, energy, and charm. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and all who were touched by her here at Washington State. We have lost a wonderful young lady, but will always treasure the memories."
Services for Duncan will be held April 28 at 2:00 p.m. at Bethel Church in Richland, Wash. A memorial fund has been set up and donations can be sent to the address listed below:
Athletes in Action Liz Duncan Memorial Fund c/o Brooks Sports, Inc. 19910 North Creek Parkway Suite 200 Bothell, WA 98011