Senior captain Jen Pace discusses what it means to represent Michigan as a team captain, beginning her senior year as she works toward becoming a nurse practitioner and the team's excitement to be back in front of a home crowd this weekend.
On what is means to be a team captain ... "It's definitely an honor to be a captain, just to know that your teammates voted for you and your coaches view you as someone who can lead the team, but I definitely have had great leaders before me. I think the person I looked up to the most as an underclassmen was Clare (Stachel). She instilled the whole Michigan Women philosophy in me, and the importance of the team and family and fighting for each other. She did a really good job of showing that to us."
On how her role has evolved during her career ... "It's definitely a lot different this year being on the field. I think my main role is keeping us in possession and being able to lead the field from the middle of the park. I'm able to go up, come back, compete hard for Michigan and show the underclassmen and the rest of the team what that looks like."
On the team's excitement to be preparing to play in front of its home crown again ... "We're definitely excited for this weekend. I think last weekend was a learning experience -- that's the positive way that we can look at it. We're excited to be back in front of our home crowd and turn the season around in a more positive direction."
On what the team has been focusing on this week in training ... "We've been working on a lot of things. Individually, fighting, and learning how to play hard for each other. We've been doing a lot of things position-wise, so a lot of attacking work to score goals and then organizing ourselves defensively."
On how the freshman class is adapting ... "They're definitely learning a lot, for example Taylor Timko, you can see her improvement every day in practice. You can see improvement in the things the coaches tell her and she just goes and does them right away. It's a bit of a different role for them having to step up so early, but they're learning. They still have a lot to learn, but they're coming along."
On starting classes in her senior year ... "Things have gone pretty well so far. I still can't believe that I'm a senior -- it's weird. It's kind of nice getting back into a schedule and back into the swing of things. I'm excited to keep learning."
On her major and what her future plans are after graduation ... "I'm majoring in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience. This year I'm completing requirements and pre-recs like anatomy and microbiology. Next year I'm taking a gap year, but eventually I want to become a nurse practitioner so I have to do an accelerated program and then a master's to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. I'm looking to do something in my gap year like an internship or maybe something abroad. But I'm taking a year off from school and then I'll apply."
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Contact: Whitney Dixon