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Soccer builds twin individuality

A midfielder sprints down the soccer field toward the goal. She kicks a quick pass to a striker, who scores the winning goal. The opposing team stops in their tracks. How could the same girl be in two places at once?

Junior twins Michelle and Jennifer Rose began playing soccer in kindergarten and continue playing varsity, despite a two-year sabbatical. The twins first began playing soccer on campus when they arrived in sixth grade.

?Throughout junior high, we practiced our skills,? Jennifer said. ?We also became very aggressive, because we played people twice our size and had to overcome many of problems to keep playing soccer.?

One of the obstacles Michelle and Jennifer faced was working-parents. In junior high, both made the all-star team, but were unable to play due to scheduling conflicts.

“I was really disappointed because I wanted to play on the all-star team,” Jennifer said. “It would have been a good learning experience. However, I think the main cause of our improvement is the upperclassmen our freshmen year. They pushed us and taught us how to do new things. They were really helpful and encouraging. They, in a way, took us under their wings, I hope to do the same for this year’s team.”

Twins face various obstacles

Before soccer season began their freshmen year, Michelle faced an obstacle alone.

?I broke my arm freshman year at a football game,? Michelle said. ?I got a sling because the break was so far up. Even though I wasn?t supposed to play sports, I kept playing soccer because I didn?t want to let the team down.?

Jennifer and Michelle both started all three years of high school play. Their commitment to soccer seems to inspire younger players.

“The twins are very good at soccer and they set a good example for the freshman,” teammate Paige Powell, ’10, said. We often hear ‘wow, that girl is really fast’; they don’t realize Michelle and Jennifer are twins. However, because they play different positions, they can shine in different areas on the field.”

This season, both combined to score a total of 14 goals this season. Although Jennifer is a midfielder and Michelle is a forward, they began the season competing for numbers on the scoreboard.

“We are really competitive in everything we do,” Jennifer said. “When Michelle and I pair up, we do everything to be the better one. Not just in soccer, but in everything from video games to school.”

While most of campus refers to Michelle and Jennifer as “twin,” the soccer team analyzes their mannerisms to realize their differences.

“I think our team views us as individuals, after they get to know us,” Michelle said. “They realize how different we are and don’t seem to care that we look the same. It’s kind of cool our team doesn’t have to remember our different cleat color, hairstyle or freckles to tell us apart.”

Despite quest for seperate identities, the twins often assist each other daily, even on the field.

?At one game, I shot a goal, but it bounced off the goalie,? Jennifer said. ?When the ball flew back, it went right to Michelle and she scored the goal; that?s teamwork.?

Although their decision about playing in college is still pending, they believe the relationships they built have increased their individuality.

“If the campus got to know us like the soccer team does, or at least try instead of giving up and calling us ‘twin’,” Michelle said. “We would appreciate the effort to realize our individuality.”

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