This past week, the Villanova Women’s Soccer coaching staff announced its three team captains for the 2020-21 year. The three captains are senior Bri Austin, junior Chloe O’Neill and graduate student Sam Rosette.
Despite not having a fall season, the team is still practicing and working hard in hopes that there will be a spring season. Given the current circumstances with COVID-19 and all of the uncertainty and confusion that it can cause, leadership is key for a team’s success. The coaching staff feels as though these three players have stepped up and are the best ones for the job.
Rosette is entering only her second season as a Wildcat after transferring to the University as a graduate student last year. She played in all 20 of the team’s matchups last season at the forward position and was a stand-out player for the ’Cats.
Austin has been a key piece for the Villanova offense in her three years at the University. In her first two seasons, Austin tallied 17 points, including three game-winning goals. After having an impressive first two seasons as a Wildcat, Austin suffered an injury that forced her to sit out all but four games of her junior season. Austin will look to come back strong this season if and when the team is given the opportunity to play.
Lastly, O’Neill has been outstanding in her first two seasons at Villanova. She started in 30 out of the 38 games she played in over two years and earned all-Big East Freshman Team honors in her first season. O’Neill also contributed 28 points and three game-winning goals.
In an interview with Villanova Athletics, Rosette, O’Neill and Austin discussed their feelings and reactions to being named this year’s captains.
Rosette explained how she felt being a graduate transfer and still being named captain.
“I am humbled that I have earned the trust of the coaching staff and my teammates in such a short amount of time to be given this opportunity, and this only drives me to be the best possible leader I can be for them, both on and off the field,” she said.
Austin said that she is looking forward to taking the already established momentum and leading the team to “bigger and better things.”
“It’s been a goal of mine to be named a team captain,” Austin said. “I’m grateful that my coaches have the faith in me to lead this team.”
Lastly, O’Neill acknowledged the feelings that she has about being named captain in only her third season and what that means to her.
“I think being named team captain is considered such an honor, especially as a junior,” she said. “My time at Villanova has really been a process, especially with having a new coach and rebuilding a whole new program. Through hard work, we have been fortunate enough to have such success for the first time in many years.”
O’Neill was a member of Head Coach Chris McLain’s first recruiting class and knows that she has been and will continue to be an integral part of helping the program grow.
As of right now, the team is only participating in socially distanced practices and conditioning. The Big East cancelled all fall sports and has yet to make a final decision about having a spring season.
After falling to Xavier in the conference semifinals last year, the team is as motivated as ever to redeem itself. The team will continue to practice and get better so that if given a spring season, they will have another chance to compete for a conference championship.