Urbana Girls Soccer Sisters Dominate on the Feild

Chrysanthi Lundstedt

The girls’ soccer team has had a “different” season so far. They beat Tuscarora and Westminister 1-0, but lost to Oakdale and Middletown.

Captain, Bri Gorman, states that these games are “always games to go really hard” and that they are “intense, but the most fun.” Kassi Keiper and Gaelin Hirabayashi have scored the big goals this season.

The Hawks plan to go as far as possible in playoffs this year and are preparing every day in practice for a long drive into playoffs. This season, they have a kickboxing trainer that comes to practice and teaches an intense kickboxing class to the team. Gorman feels “pretty invincible” after kickboxing class with her teammates.

Training sessions are long and they are working hard every single day to improve. The team has “finally learned how to compete hard” and to have Hawk Pride in practice.

The girls had a team sleepover that has allowed them to bond and will hopefully allow them to do big things with their team dynamics. Gorman mentions that younger players are stepping up this season as leaders who will lead the team in the years to come.

The girls got new Nike uniforms this year that are more form fitted and professional. Bri refers to them as “lovely” and is very excited to wear them this season. The first regional game is on October 25th and the Hawks will be ready.

Another “different” thing about the team this year is that there are 4 sets of sisters in the program. This is extremely odd for any team. This “sister dynamic” has brought uniqueness to the team and it is extremely intriguing that each of the 4 seniors on the team has a younger sister in the program. The sister sets are Kassi and Kara Keiper, Natasja and Gaelin Hirabayashi, Bri and Hailey Gorman, and Caitlin and Holly Coffey.

Bri Gorman describes this phenomenon as “really cool” and loves “to be able to see Hailey every day and compete with her. It’s nice to be able to spend my last year with my sister in the program.”

Another senior sister, Kassi Keiper, comments, “It’s a lot of fun actually! Kara and I are extremely close, but I am really hard on her, so it’s definitely an experience. But she almost scored a goal the other day and I was on the bench and told Coach Nichols that I was going to run onto the field and get a yellow card if she had made it just so I could hug her.”

When asked how having four sisters on the team all at once changes the team, Kassi quickly replied, “The team dynamic definitely changed as far as our comradery. We all mesh really well together and have a lot of fun, but we are also very competitive with each other because we have so many family ties. I think having so many sisters creates a bond between our team that no other program could have.”

Senior goalkeeper, Natasja Hirabayashi, describes this rarity as “bittersweet.” She says, “I’m seriously overprotective of her (Gaelin), so it’s tough seeing her get hit during a game or seeing her get upset.”

Natasja also mentions that she is “very hard” on her sister and she “always wants to see her succeed.” “All in all, I love playing with Gaelin, even though we’re at opposite sides of the field,” Natasja adds.

Caitlin Coffey heartwarmingly says, “I am really going to miss Holly when I go off to college, but I know that she will be fine with the rest of the soccer girls.” The two sisters haven’t played together on the same team since elementary school when their Dad coached their team.

Caitlin notes that she never thought that playing with her sister would be this much fun and mentions that this season playing on the same team has brought her and her sister closer together. “I am so thankful for this season,” Caitlin heartwarmingly comments.

All of the senior sisters agree that having four sets of sisters on the team is truly special and has positively influenced the team’s chemistry. This sensation has brought something to the Urbana Girls’ Soccer team that has never been there before: “sister dynamic.”