first_imgFollowing in the footsteps of older siblings can be difficult, especially if they are at the top of their game. For University of Wisconsin senior defenseman Aaron Hohlbein, patterning his brother’s success and philosophies was easy and helped make him the player he is today. Winning really is everything, at least according to Jed, Aaron Hohlbein’s brother. According to Jed winning means knowing that you gave your all for every minute of play, even in you are on the short end of the final result. And that’s the perspective Aaron Hohlbein takes with him every time he steps onto the field. “The main thing I try to bring is a winning mentality,” the younger Holbein said. “Everybody including myself is going to work their [tails] off and know that when we put in the effort, we won’t be disappointed when we come off the field.”Despite not being the focus on the field growing up, Aaron never seemed to mind, pushing instead to improve his game and play to the best of his abilities. “I mean, I wasn’t noticed maybe as much as [my brother], but that sort of thing didn’t bother me all that much,” Aaron said. “I was just working for myself and trying to get where he was.”I do what I got to do … If recognition comes out of that, then that’s great. But as long as we’re winning, that’s all that matters.”Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman has been so impressed by the junior Holbein’s attitude and prowess on the field, he believes the once shadow-laden brother has a chance to pursue a career in soccer. “His presence is second to none on our team,” Rohrman said in a phone interview. “He’s one of those guys who makes everybody better just by being on the field … He’s an outstanding leader. He has been the consummate defender and has been really the core of the backline for four years. He’s one of those guys who I think is going onto the next level and is going to have a successful professional career.”Aaron’s surprising success and winning ways began in California. When Jed began playing soccer, Aaron also expressed an interest in the sport. It seems only natural that when an older sibling shows interest in something, the younger one follows suit. “I kind of looked at [his success] and said ‘Hey, I kind of want to play [soccer] too,'” Aaron Hohlbein said.When Hohlbein returned to Wisconsin around age seven, soccer became the backdrop of his existence. He joined a community team his brother was on. Even though Aaron was two years younger than most of the other kids, he managed to find success. More important than the numbers he put up during his tenure with the club team, Rohrman said the experience Hohlbein got playing with older kids is something that ultimately hastened his progression at the collegiate level. Unlike the sibling rivalry many youth experience, the brothers Holbein preferred to help each other out and work together. “It wasn’t ever me against him or him against me; we always kind of supported each other,” Aaron said. In 2003, Jed Hohlbein coincidentally transferred from Southwest Missouri State to Wisconsin, where Aaron Hohlbein was entering as a freshman. Because it was a time of transition for Aaron Hohlbein, Jed Hohlbein looked out for his brother. “It definitely helped having him around to support me when I was having trouble with school or soccer,” Aaron said. “He always had good advice and [could] tell me what to do.”They played together for two seasons and provided the jumpstart that the Wisconsin men’s soccer program needed to get back to contending on a national scale. “One of the reasons I decided to come here was they were trying to rebuild the program and get back on the national scene, make strides in the Big Ten and just get back to a winning program,” Aaron said. Although it has taken four years to get to that point and Wisconsin’s chances of winning the Big Ten Title ended with a 1-0 loss to Indiana Friday, Hohlbein is happy that the chance happened at all. “We got to be proud about the fact that we put ourselves in position to win a Big Ten Championship,” Hohlbein said. “At the same time, it’s really disappointing that we didn’t do it, but we got ourselves in that position.”Wisconsin must look ahead to the Big Ten Tournament now — it’s all they have left. A loss there would spell the end for Wisconsin’s season and four-year goal. “Losing isn’t an option,” Hohlbein said.As long as there is still breath in the senior captain’s lungs, Wisconsin has a fighting chance.last_img

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