Freshman Stephanie Vietry can pass the ball to her teammates, and seemingly to herself as well.
But how does she do it?
The answer to this mystery is quite simple: Stephanie has her identical twin sister, Samantha, out on the field with her. Let’s see David Blaine do something like that.
The Vietry sisters have been playing on the same team together since the Under-10 League back in Rhode Island.
The twins come from Cranston West High School in Rhode Island. Stephanie is a broadcast major and that was her original reason for coming to Temple.
But when she realized that there was a Division I soccer team, she couldn’t resist.
“I wanted to compete at a higher level.
Back in high school, you could expect other teams to make a mistake and wait for them to happen,” Stephanie said.
“Now, however, you can’t expect anyone to make a mistake and you have to believe that everybody is going to get the ball every time. Mistakes cost the game.”
Stephanie had an outstanding collegiate debut, scoring both of Temple’s goals in the win against the University of Vermont.
As a result, she was named Atlantic-10 Conference Co-Rookie of the Week (Sept. 3). She was surprised of her performance in the opening game.
“I didn’t expect it at all,” she said. “I had been sick during preseason so I wasn’t sure how my first Division I game ever would turn out.”
“I wasn’t really surprised at her performance,” McWilliams said.
“It was a pleasant surprise to see her score the winning goal, but my expectations of her were high anyway.”
Stephanie also had an assist in a goal scored by sophomore midfielder Courtney Eaton to win their game against Drexel University.
In the eight games played this season, Stephanie has two goals and an assist.
Her sister Samantha has also scored two goals in the early season.
A business major, she came to Temple to be with her sister and quickly noticed the differences between high school and college soccer.
“Everyone here has much better ball control, and that’s expected, especially after the training we’ve all went through,” Samantha said.
She is referring to ten days worth of three-a-days that the team went through during preseason.
The hard work paid off.
Samantha kept the Owls from being shut out in their game against Niagara University by scoring her first goal of the season.
The transition has been smooth so far with the occasional freshman mistakes, but one problem that seems to have been averted thus far is the confusion that might occur whenever identical twins play for the same team.
“Sometimes I’d just respond to both names,” Samantha explained as one way of dealing with the problem.
“Usually we play different positions.
I like to play forward and Sam likes sweeper, but hasn’t gotten a chance to play there yet,” Stephanie said.
“It was hard telling them apart during preseason,” freshman defender Trish Dalton said, “but now it’s easy to tell them apart.
They each have a different style of play.”
This “style” has no doubt added to the team’s vigor and success. Senior captain Elizabeth O’Brien enjoys the energy that the young duo brings to the field.
“It’s always nice to have freshman that want to compete,” O’Brien said. “It definitely helps the rest of the team.”
Atlantic 10 Conference play is about to begin, and only time will tell if the twins will be enough to carry the team to a possible championship.
McWilliams hopes that the game against the University of Virginia, which is ranked no. 10 in the country, will provide a good learning opportunity for the team.
He seems very optimistic about the rest of the season, and challenges all those who say otherwise.
“I’ll play anybody in the world!” he said. “Just give me a call, and we’ll be there!”
Steven Popurt can be reached at Baby.firstname.lastname@example.org