Sept. 7, 2010
MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin named senior goalkeeper Ryan Vint as the team’s third captain last week, joining three-time letterwinners Aaron Nichols and Jon Rzepka as tri-captains. The trio of seniors will look to provide veteran leadership to a youthful Badgers team.
So far, the captains like what they’ve seen from the squad.
“Everything’s going really well,” Rzepka said. “We’ve had some hard practices, and we’re learning how to fight through and play tough”.
Aaron Nichols is pleased that the team is constantly looking to get better.
“Coach Trask always stresses getting better, improving every second of every practice or game, and the team’s been doing a good job with that.”
After graduating nine players from the 2009 squad, Wisconsin is counting on immediate contributions from many of the 13 true freshmen on the team. Six Badgers played in their first collegiate match against Santa Clara, and they will rely on the guidance from their captains to adjust to the pace of the college game.
The key to making this adjustment will be the team’s chemistry in adapting to all of the new players.
“The upperclassmen are doing all we can to make everyone comfortable,” Nichols said. “It’s going better that you would expect, especially with so many new faces.”
“The biggest thing that I’ve noticed,” Vint said, “is that no one person thinks they are a superstar. With all of the freshman coming in, we make it a point that everyone playing here is really talented, but you have to work hard to earn playing time. All of the freshmen are responding well to this, and this helps our team stay composed and focused on our goals.”
The three players are excited to use their role as captain to lead the team and utilize their experiences to help the team’s younger players.
“I take being named captain with a great deal of pride,” Nichols said. “It’s good to be in a position to be counted on. All three of us are capable of stepping up and being great leaders.”
“I really appreciate the chance to be captain, especially with a young team,” Rzepka agreed. “I like looking out for the freshmen, and I’m glad to have a chance to teach them what I’ve learned.”
Vint summarized the trio’s vision to lead the team.
“The thing with the three of us is that we can lead not only on the field, but lead of the field as well,” Vint said. “You have to have both components and hopefully we’re able to do provide that.”
The Badgers travel to Florida for a pair of matches this weekend. UW faces Florida International on Friday at 6 p.m. CT before meeting Florida Atlantic on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. CT.
UW Athletic Communications