Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


McCrudden fills leadership role for Badgers

Senior defender Kyle McCrudden has battled injuries throughout the beginning of the season, making two starts and three appearances for Wisconsin, logging 131 minutes.[/media-credit]

For senior defender Kyle McCrudden, soccer has always been a way of life.

From a young age, McCrudden seemed destined to go far in the sport. After all, growing up he certainly had the classic story.

Kyle’s father, Dan McCrudden, was a collegiate soccer player for Rhode Island in the ’70s. In four years playing for Rhode Island, Dan was a team leader each year; earning Third Team All-America honors his senior year in 1977. In 1998, 21 years after his illustrious collegiate career, he was inducted into the Rhode Island Soccer Hall of Fame.


So when Kyle became old enough to play sports, he didn’t have to go far to find a coach. In fact, during a portion of his youth soccer days, he lived with his coach.

“He was a critic, but also he was my biggest fan,” Kyle said. “I remember when I was really young, he coached our 3v3 soccer team, and so he kind of taught me how to defend. All my friends and I still joke about how he was our coach, and we did so well back then.”

When it came time for McCrudden to move on to high school, he began to focus more exclusively on soccer. The decision was worth it, as he helped lead his Illinois high school, New Trier, to two state championships in 2006 and 2008. In his senior year he would go on to earn numerous accolades, including 2008 Illinois State Player of the Year, 2008 NSCAA All-American and 2008 NSCAA All-Midwest Region team honors.

Although he now plays defense for the Badgers, McCrudden was primarily a goal scorer in high school, scoring 42 goals in three years of varsity competition.

“I was actually more of a center midfielder or forward in high school, surprisingly. No one would think that nowadays,” McCrudden said. “I have to give credit to my teammates back then, a few of my buddies play at Northwestern and a few other places around there, so we really had a good team.”

Since joining the UW men’s soccer team in 2009, McCrudden has had to go through some difficult changes that would have been enough to make many other players want to quit. In addition to moving to a new position in the defense, he also had to adjust from being one of the stars in high school to being a substitute for the Badgers. Just one year after scoring 22 goals his senior season, McCrudden only played a total of 36 minutes during his freshman campaign at UW.

But over time, McCrudden matured and developed into one of head coach John Trask’s most reliable players. He went on to play in all 19 games for the Badgers in 2010 and 17 games in 2011.

Even though McCrudden would never develop into one of the stars of the team, his consistent play and good attitude have made him one of the key bread and butter players for Wisconsin – something every successful team needs.

Now, in his fourth and final season at UW, he is one of only two seniors this season and was named one of three captains for the team – the only senior captain. This comes despite many injury setbacks in the off-season and preseason this fall.

“We don’t vote on captains, but the guys have a lot of input with the coaching staff,” Trask said. “One thing they all believed – because Kyle has been through a couple coaches here and seen a lot through his career – was he would be a good barometer for some of these younger players in terms of leadership off the field.”

After four years at UW, McCrudden has seen it all. Trask said he has become a mentor many of the younger players can go to for advice, whether it be about how to be a better player on the field or a better student off it.

“The biggest thing that he has shown me is how to be strong, how to hold guys off,” freshman defender Adam Lauko said. “He has been a good senior captain and has really helped me adjust to the college game and to college in general.”

While his injury has slowed him down this season, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound McCrudden has still made two starts in three appearances this year, including one which came in a strong defensive showing against No.13 Georgetown that saw the team earn a valuable 1-1 draw.

Unlike the stereotypical college athlete that goes to school only to play a sport, McCrudden will graduate this spring with a hard-earned economics degree and already has aspiration of getting into business when his soccer playing days are over.

“At this point, I want to do something in the business world,” McCrudden said. “I think sales could be something that I could get into, but at this point, I just want to finish up the season and try to do the best we can.”

Follow Nick on Twitter

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *