Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Smaller group, bigger responsibilities for men’s soccer’s seniors

Pair of seniors Brindle, Caban have mentored large group of underclassmen this season

Following one of the best seasons in Wisconsin soccer history and losing 14 seniors, this season’s class of seniors had difficult shoes to fill.

Seniors Jacob Brindle and David Caban have had to lead the young team by example, showing their hard work and determination to win games.

Caban said he believes the seniors had to change the mindset of the new players, whose time on academy teams was mainly spent working on improving their skills.


“At this level, we are focused on results, not to say we don’t care about improving skills, but at then end of the day, results matter here,” Caban said.

It’s not just a different style of play at the college level. Most of these players were top-level talents on their previous team who are not used to having to come off the bench to contribute.

Brindle has helped those players adjust to the college game to prepare themselves for when they finally get that opportunity.

“Some of them started, but some of them never sat a game in their life,” head coach John Trask said. “I think that’s where Jacob could really help. He hasn’t been a four-year starter, but he’s worked hard, and when his number was called, he’s ready.”

As the freshmen come in, they have limited experience coupled with a limited knowledge for what they are about to go through. The seniors have helped get them ready to succeed, even if it was not able to happen this season. The youth-laden Badgers team, which has 13 total freshmen, enter the final two games of the season with a 3-10-2 overall record still searching for their first conference win.

“It’s all new to them,” Trask said. “The ability to study at the level we ask of them and to compete at the level of the Big Ten Conference. It’s an adjustment.”

Brindle and Caban have been leaders on this team. They will be able to look back at their time here and see just how much they were able to do.

“We’ve played David all along the back his entire career, and Jacob has been someone who has scored key goals for us over his career. It’s hard to replace defenders; it’s hard to replace a guy who can score goals,” Trask said. “Both of them, I would like to think over the course of their four years, were important members of what we’ve accomplished, getting to the NCAA tournament last year for the first time in 18 years.

“That’s something they’ll hopefully look back on, whether it is a few months from now, six months from now, six years, 20 years from now, and realize they played a huge role in that,” Trask added.

Caban is already looking back on the 2013 NCAA tournament game, the Wisconsin men’s soccer program’s first since the 1995 NCAA Championship, as one of his favorite parts of his career.

“My favorite memory had to be getting the home game against Milwaukee in the playoffs last year,” Caban said. “Beating an in-state rival, shutting them out, in our first home playoff game in 18 years, that’s something I will not forget.”

Brindle’s favorite moment came from an individual accomplishment, but was just as impressive and memories will live on for both of them.

“I would have to say my hat trick last year,” Brindle said. “There aren’t many Division I college athletes that can say they did that.”

The pair helped bring on 12 new freshmen and begin to acclimate them to the college game, which is a daunting task for any player.

Caban’s leadership came mostly on the field, while Brindle helped the players on the bench, and both of them played important roles with leading the team off the field.

“I think the bottom line is that they know they have a lot of great young talent, and they’ve tried to set a good example for these guys both on and off the field,” Trask said.

Both these seniors have prepared themselves for success in the future, which shows through their drastically differing plans for when they graduate.

Caban hopes to make it onto a soccer team professionally, with his degree from UW as a safety net for finding another job.

Brindle wants to get into medical school after taking a year off.

The time they’ve spent at Wisconsin has proven they can handle whatever is thrown at them, mostly because of the determination and hard work they put in. By instilling those traits into the young players on this team, the Badgers should be a force in the Big Ten conference for the next few years.

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 *