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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Twins benefit from playing soccer together

All eyes were on Kimberly Chen, who set the ball down to take a corner kick for her team, the West Valley Legends. She took a few steps back, then accelerated forward and chipped the ball. Everyone watched as it sailed through the cold evening air toward the front of the goal, when Kimberly’s twin sister Kaitlyn launched the ball into the San Francisco Viking’s net with a powerful header.

The twins had done it again.

“We have pretty good chemistry [and] it’s nice to have a friend I can talk to,” Kaitlyn said about Kimberly.

The Chen sisters, now juniors, began to play soccer competitively in elementary school, with Kimberly starting in third grade and Kaitlyn in fourth grade when their parents signed them up. They play together on the West Valley Legends ‘97 team and practice twice a week when the high school team is not in season.

Play time together on the field helps tighten the bond between the two, as they learn to get through tough moments and enjoy themselves during funny moments.

In one instance, Kaitlyn had the ball and attempted to pass the ball to Kimberly. Kaitlyn dribbled closer to Kimberly and prepared to transfer the ball, but they ended up colliding and their team lost possession of the ball.

“There’s always ups and downs, and we get through that,” Kimberly said.

Their ability to play a variety of positions helps increase the opportunities for them to work together on the field. Kaitlyn plays forward, defensive midfield and center back, while Kimberly plays midfield and forward.

The twins are also especially compatible because Kaitlyn, who is left-footed, has strength, whereas Kimberly, who is right-footed, has speed.

Having a sister means that I will always [be able to] practice with someone I'm comfortable with,” Kaitlyn said.

Both Kaitlyn and Kimberly would like to play soccer in college, with the hopes that being recruited could help them get into one of their schools of interest.

Soccer, though, is not the only sport they play.

As freshmen, the sisters played two winter sports (soccer and basketball) for the school; this was possible because  basketball practices were in the morning, while soccer practices were after school. Kaitlyn also attributes being able to double-up on sports to the minimal amount of homework in freshman year.

Kaitlyn and Kimberly, who chose to play basketball over soccer their sophomore year, left the basketball team for the girls’ soccer team this season.

“I thought this year would be more fun [to play soccer] since I would be on the same team as some of my friends,” Kaitlyn said.

Now back in soccer, the sisters have started the preseason off strong, with solid defense from Kaitlyn and speedy attacks from Kimberly.

On Dec. 1, the Falcons beat Notre Dame High School with a winning goal by Kimberly. The team tied their first game of the Burlingame Tournament 1-1 on Dec. 6 against Menlo High School, with a goal by senior Ciara Bowen.

Looking ahead, Coach Ben Maxwell said philosophy is unchanged.

“The expectations for us are the same as they were for the past two years, which is to continue to try to elevate Saratoga higher than the standards have been previously,” Maxwell said. “And for us, making CCS is really, really important because it continues to show progression; it continues to show that we’re moving in the right direction.”

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