Shared Royalties: From Friends To Co-Captains

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Their voices can be heard ringing around Peden Stadium early in the morning during practice as the dew settles on the turf. The voices carry a certain sense of authority and they command perfection, organization and strong team chemistry. And if their orders go unheard, the voices only get louder and more irritated.

The voices belong to senior Gabby Hausfeld and junior Grace Campbell, the two newly appointed co-captains of the Ohio soccer team. Both women’s screams have been known to strike fear into their opponents, as well as some of their teammates. But Hausfeld is the louder and more intense of the two and she thinks her fierceness and tone are some of the best things she brings to the Bobcats.

“What do I bring to the table? Definitely that strong voice,” Hausfeld said. Some people think I’m scary, but honestly I’m not. Don’t listen to them.”

In team sports, the captain is looked to as a person of power and responsibility. The captain is often the most vocal player, which has a full picture of the field and knows where everything should be at all times.

For this reason defenders and goalkeepers often make the best captains on soccer teams, because their job is to survey the entire field and analyze play from a deeper lying position, which suits Hausfeld and Campbell well since they both play center back for the Bobcats.

Communication is key for any team to be successful, but it is especially imperative when players are operating in defense. And the communication between the two captains and their goalkeeper often keep the team organized and strong on all parts of the field.

“Getting told what to do is nice sometimes,” Hausfeld said. “We know it’s really helpful when the goalie does it for us, so we try to do it as much as we can. It makes it easier for the offense in front of us.”

It can also help when the defenders are tracking back and simple instructions can tell them which way to turn or where the ball is being played.

Another key component to being captain is having faith in your team philosophy and the ability of your teammates, both of which Hausfeld and Campbell share. This can become essential when you are playing in a position where one player is basically relying on the person next to them to her be on the same wavelength.

Campbell and Hausfeld feed off each other well playing in the Bobcats’ 4-4-2 system. The two provide defensive cover for one another while also providing more mental cover for their partner in the center of the pitch and feeding off each other’s intensity.

“I think we both bring bring that intensity to the game,” Campbell said. “I think Gabby and I are kind of similar in the fact that we are both really intense during the game and kind of get lost in the adrenaline and craziness of the game.”

And the fact that both play with a similar sense of ferocity and intent breeds a solid relationship between the two co-captains. It also doesn’t hurt that both look at the other as an equal and view their relationship as the glue that has the potential to keep the team together.

“First and foremost, Grace is my rock,” Hausfeld said. “There’s not a problem that comes across the team that I don’t immediately say ‘Hey Grace, help me out here. What do you think?’ I always love her opinions and she’s very level-headed, very composed, just the way she is on the field.”

Campbell feels the same sort of connection that Hausfeld described and thinks that the two share the captaincy burden well, often letting each other slide into more responsibility when needed.

“I think we kind of pick up off of each other,” Campbell said. “So if Gabby is talking a lot, I might sit back and let her kind of direct. And if I’m talking a lot, Gabby kind of sits back, unless there is something that we need to change. But I think we do a equal job of sharing that.”

Every relationship needs compromise, and the two Ohio co-captains seem to bear the responsibility well while also trying not to push their power too far.

It can often be tough to be in a position of power when a player views his/her teammates as an equal because it can also be difficult to say something to someone the player considers a friend.

“Team captain isn’t all it’s made out to be at times,” Hausfeld said. Sometimes you’ve got to be the person that call people out and you’ve got to be the leader. And sometimes that can get lonely. But it’s an honor.”

The feeling of responsibility is something that Campbell can relate to, especially putting all the pressure of the team on her back. Trying to deal with the pressure and the issues that can occur proves to be tricky at times, she said.

But the two teammates have a genuine love for each other that transcends soccer. Campbell has looked up to Hausfeld since she was a freshman and looks at her as someone who she can talk to about anything, whether the conversation it be school, soccer or even her social life.

“I love Gabby,” Campbell said. “She is one of the best role models I’ve ever had. Even starting my freshman year I’ve always looked up to Gabby. And she’s somebody that I can definitely go back to and talk to about anything.

“She’s always there for me. She’s a great friend.”

Hausfeld feels the same way.

“I couldn’t imagine having a better person standing next to me on the field when it comes to dealing with any issue on the field or off of it,” Hausfeld said. “Grace is an awesome, lovable person. She's got some spunk and she’s definitely the rock.”

With their connection both on and off the field, their link could pay dividends for Ohio this season.

“I’m just really excited for this season,” Campbell said. “I think we’ve got really good potential as a team and I think if we just play to our game we’re going to be a really good team.”