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It's all relative: Massapequa Sisters extras

Chiefs sisters

Chiefs sisters Credit: Dana Ahrens (Massapequa field hockey)

Massapequa coach Barbara Lowell

Ever had this many groups of sisters on the same team? “We’ve had several groups of sisters come through, but never three sets of sisters at the same time.”

What’s it like: “It’s so much fun. You start to see some of the sisterly bond if one of them gets hurt or needs something. The other one is always the first to run over and help out… This year the girls have picked the Hawaiian word ‘Ohana’ – from Lilo & Stitch – and it means family. It definitely applies.”

Benefits of having a sister on the team: “I think it’s even more helpful in the offseason, having someone to train with. Kelsey and Cassidy have a good combination because you have somebody to shoot against.”

The team as a whole: “We’re strong. We’ve got 11 returning seniors, and a lot of strength in the junior and sophomore line. This is a really strong team. We’ve been building. A lot of them are two and three-year players.”

Optimism for next year: “We’ve got some more sisters on JV and even more on the eighth-grade level.”

[If you’re wondering about the sisters’ positions, none of them plays the same position as her sister. Kelsey O’Brien is a forward and Cassidy is a goalie. Dana Ahrens is a defender and Jamie is a forward. Andrea Bourgal is a midfielder and Colleen is a defender.]

Kelsey & Cassidy O’Brien

Being on the team together (Kelsey): “I love it. Being a senior, I was really looking forward to this season and the fact she’s on the team makes it more enjoyable.”

Playing with your older sister (Cassidy): “It’s a lot of fun. We play opposite positions so she’s always shooting on me. It’s a big competition: am I gonna save it or is she gonna score?”

How beneficial is it to practice with a good scorer shooting on you? “It helps a lot. It makes me work harder. It makes me wanna play better.”

Trash talk (Cassidy): “Of course! We talk trash all the time. If we’re doing strokes and I save it, I’ll look at her like, 'What’s going on now?'"

Kelsey on her commitment to Navy: “The academics are top-notch and I love the atmosphere there. Everyone there is self-driven and they’re motivated people who I know I’ll thrive around. People pushing me, me pushing them… After the four years of college, it’s a five-year service, but you’re an officer in the Navy.”

(Cassidy has kept track of the number of days remaining before Kelsey goes off to college. Without hesitation Thursday, she said “259 days.”)

Dana & Jamie Ahrens

Playing together (Dana): “It’s awesome and I’m grateful for it. I wish everyone could have the experience [of playing with a sibling].” (Jamie): “I’ve been playing with Dana for as far back as I can remember…Our mom [Melodee Ahrens] was a JV coach, so she’d bring us broken sticks. She’d tape them up and give them to us.”

Special connection on the field (Dana): “We know each other so well. She can read my emotions. If I’m down, she knows what to say to pick me up”.

Graduation splitting you up: “It’s gonna be hard on me,” Dana said. “I wanna stay close to home just so I can see her and my other little sister [Lauren].”

Andrea & Colleen Bourgal

How does the sophomore bully the senior? “I’ve always been the one who picks on her,” Colleen said. “She was always so nice to me as a kid that I grew to be the kid that picks on her.”

Working together: (Colleen) During the summer I’d tell her, “Can you work on dodges so I can practice my block tackling. Then she’d be like, “I wanna work on this, so you help me out.”

Andrea on having Colleen as a teammate: “It’s brought us together even more…We consider all these girls (teammates) our sisters here, but then we go home and we’re sisters there, too.”


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