NCAA women’s soccer has 327 Division I schools competing in 2013. At any given moment there are up to 3,608 players on the pitch. This season the University of Idaho soccer team features 13 new faces. Two of the new faces might be cause for a surprising double take.
The freshmen twins are not exactly the model version of twins. They don’t look anything alike. Amanda, the elder of the two by less than a minute, is a towering 5’8’’ compared to Alyssa who measures in at 5’3’’. Amanda has very fair blonde hair. Alyssa sports more of a dirty blonde look. At first glance they look more like distant cousins than sisters.
“People are really surprised when they find out we are twins,” Amanda pointed out. “It makes sense since we look nothing alike. Our heights and everything are different.”
Once people find out they are in fact twins, they embarrassingly try to point out any kind of resemblances between the two.
“People try to see the similarities between us,” Amanda said. “They will be like ‘oh your noses are the same’ or something little like that.”
“Or ‘that piece of hair looks the same.” Alyssa added. “It is annoying when people say we look alike, because we know we don’t look alike.”
As if being twins is not unique enough, they are one of only 17 sets of twins playing on the same team in women’s Division I soccer in 2013.
Being a package deal to coaches in the recruiting process was not a high priority for the siblings as they looked to the next step in their careers. After 18 years of living together the two sisters were ready to welcome some separation.
“We had a few schools looking at us, but not many as a package,” Alyssa stated. “We like to be together and we told coaches we would like to play together, but if it didn’t work out, it didn’t work out.”
“When they came on their visit I said I would take either of them as long as they felt it was a good fit for them,” head coach Pete Showler recalled. “Equally we liked both. It was interesting because both have very different dynamics to their game that we need. They filled both of those rolls very well.”
For the Bend, Ore., natives not living together would have been quite the experiment. The two grew up with separate rooms, and now live across the hall from each other in their dorm. The longest they have ever spent apart? According to Alyssa it was close to a week.
“To cope we kept in contact through texting,” Alyssa added. “We enjoyed our time apart from each other, getting to act as an only child. Towards the end of the week we started to miss each other again. It’s very different without her by my side.”
Being by each other’s side is something that the two have used to their advantage since coming to Moscow. Being freshmen is not the easiest transition to make, especially as a student-athlete. Both credited the fact that having each other around has made for a smoother adjustment on and off the field.
On the field Alyssa sits tied atop the Vandals leading goal scorers (2 g) and Amanda has appeared in seven games [as of Sept. 27] as part of the defensive backfield. Alyssa picked up her first collegiate goal at Creighton on Sept. 8. Following the game Amanda tweeted like the proud older-sister that she is.
“Annnnd a special shout out to my sister for scoring her first college goal! #proudsister #twinpower”