After 90 minutes of game time, Natalie and Heidi Druehl hugged in what was their last competitive game against each other.
Sophomore midfielder Natalie Druehl played against her sister and Connecticut senior defender, Heidi Druehl in Temple’s 1-0 loss on Thursday.
“We were laughing at each other the whole time,” Natalie Druehl said. “We were just messing each other, like ‘You better not head this ball in.’ …We’ve always been competitive, but at the end of the day it’s just fun and games.”
The Druehl sisters played every minute on Thursday. Before a UConn corner kick in the 84th minute, they lined up next to each other in the goal box. The sisters pushed each other affectionately until play resumed and they both refocused on the game.
Their parents, Vicki and Bill Druehl, attended on Thursday. Both wore custom shirts with half of Temple’s “T” logo and half of UConn’s Husky on the front, and their daughters’ names and jersey numbers on the back.
Despite playing for rival colleges, the sisters remain close during the off-season. They play tennis and work out together during winter breaks.
Heidi and Natalie Druehl also work together as youth coaches at Chelsea Piers Connecticut, where Natalie Druehl played club soccer prior to Temple.
Heidi and Natalie Druehl were teammates at Westhill High School in their hometown of Stamford, Connecticut. Both were two-year captains for the Vikings.
Natalie Druehl is the only Druehl child not to attend UConn. Her older sister, Victoria Druehl was a two-year rower for the Huskies, and her brother Billy Druehl also attended without participating in college athletics.
“I would have loved for her to play with her sister,” Vicki Druehl said. “But she wanted her own place. She wanted to create her own path.”
With Heidi’s college career over, the Druehls will have more opportunities to watch their youngest child in her final two seasons of college soccer.
“This year I said to Natalie, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t make as many [of your] games as I would like.’” Vicki Druehl said. “We really need to dedicate our time to Heidi, this being her last year.”
The Druehls watched most of Temple’s conference games on TV and went to Heidi’s games, they said.
“We’ll have a couple years for her alone,” Vicki Druehl said. “We had a couple years of Heidi alone, and a couple years of them together.”