The University of Minnesota soccer team is happy to announce the captains for the 2018 spring season and 2018 regular season. Head Coach Stefanie Golan announced that 2018 seniors Emily Heslin and Emily Peterson will lead the Maroon and Gold.
“We think Emily Peterson is an excellent choice to join Emily Heslin, who did an excellent job as a junior, and has grown a great deal over the past year in ways that will help her be a great team captain as senior,” head coach Stefanie Golan said. “These two bring so many positive traits in this role that can help this program continue to take steps forward, and we are excited to get to work with them in this role.”
Peterson, a soon-to-be senior, is a Prior Lake, Minn. native. Peterson started in all 19 games for Minnesota in 2017; and has appeared in 43 career games. Since taking a more predominant role on the field, Peterson has helped the Gophers defense finish in top statistical categories in 2016 and 2017 including the second fewest goals allowed in 2016 and the fewest shots on goal allowed in 2017.
“I’m just grateful for the opportunity,” Peterson said. “Coming in as a freshman, I did not even think about being a captain. I was always just focusing on working my way up into a bigger player role. So being named captain means a lot to me because I know I had to work to earn the trust and respect, and that is a big deal to me because untimely the team comes first.”
Heslin will garner the captain band for the second straight season in 2018. The soon-to-be senior hails from Woodbury, Minn. and plays midfielder. Heslin has scored a total of five goals in her career, including three in 2017, and has started the last 42 games for the Maroon and Gold.
— Minnesota Soccer (@GopherSoccer) October 16, 2017
“It really is an honor again,” Heslin said. “Being a captain is not something that is just handed to you, so being chosen again by my teammates and coaches means a lot. It is something I don’t take lightly.”
The last time the Gophers had a pair of senior captains was in 2016 when Simone Kolander and Josee Stiever were captains. The two Minnesota natives say they are eager to become the best leaders they can be.
“The biggest area I want to grow in is my vocal leadership,” Heslin said. “I definitely want to be a vocal leader, but also continue to be someone who leads by example and be that support system for the girls so that if they need someone to talk to they can. I’ll do my best to be that liaison between the players and the coaches; if I can be an extra set of eyes and helping hands, I think that will be beneficial.”
“It is going to take a lot of work, and me also coming out of my comfort zone, to become a good leader,” Peterson said. “I think I am a leader that leads by example. I want to be the type of leader that can help give my team confidence, because that is a huge factor in the mentality of the team.”
The pair will serve as captains not only for the 2018 regular season, but will also serve as captains this spring when the Gophers play their annual spring games.
— Minnesota Soccer (@GopherSoccer) August 22, 2017
Be sure to check back on GopherSports.com to find the latest news on spring games, and other Gopher Soccer news. You can also follow the Gophers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you do not miss any content this offseason.
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