Baldwin soccer players Julie and Jenna Annecchiarico always have known they belong on opposite ends of the pitch.
Jenna, a sophomore, plays up top, where she forces her way to the ball and specializes in creating goal-scoring opportunities for teammates. Her sister, Julie, a junior, leads a tough back line.
Together, they're a driving force for the Bruins, who finished the regular season 9-1-2 in Nassau AA-II.
"She's always been the more direct one on the ball, and I've always been the tougher of the two so it just naturally happened," Julie said. "It's always been this way."
Always goes as far back as 6 or 7 years old, when the girls played together on Police Athletic League teams. Jenna is the more athletic one, said Julie, who added that she's more studious. Julie is outgoing, but Jenna is more laid back.
"We just knew each other's role and knew what we had to do," Jenna said about their positions.
Jenna also plays basketball, and Julie focuses on soccer. They're close but said they have their own groups of friends and their own interests.
That hasn't stopped their development together. They've spent countless hours practicing in their backyard.
"I would always get her rebounds for basketball, and she would play goalie for soccer," Julie said.
Jenna, 14, said she looks up to her 15-year-old sister. But that doesn't stop the two from getting on each other about plays.
"Sometimes I yell at her and she yells back, but we're pretty close," Julie said.
Baldwin coach Darius Burton said he sees the value each player contributes to the team. Jenna brings a supporting presence as a forward, and Julie helps command the defense as a sweeper.
Jenna has five goals and 13 assists this season. She's become more of a goal-scoring presence of late because of an injury to leading scorer Sarah Pulis, but assists are still her forte.
"I like doing the work and then passing," Jenna said.
Burton pointed out that Jenna "brings havoc" up top, but he also wouldn't mind her taking more control.
"Sometimes I wish she would be a little bit more selfish in a positive aspect," Burton said.
Baldwin's only conference loss and one of the ties came against Syosset (10-1-1), the Bruins' first-round opponent Saturday in the Nassau Class AA playoffs.