Two Michigan Sisters Battle As Opponents For The First Time In College
Growing up with siblings is an experience that not everyone gets to experience and even for those that do have them, everyone's experience is different depending on so many factors within your home. Some people have siblings that they never see, and some have siblings they see every day but don't get along with, and then there's the group of siblings who adore each other and help each other elevate through life.
Now, that isn't to say all siblings don't love each other and don't help each other elevate through life, but the way that siblings who love each other that much are able to achieve this same feat is just different. They challenge each other to be better in every facet of life, I'm talking about fashion styles, grades, friend groups, relationship decisions, money, sports, and anything else you can name.
Two sisters, Kylee and Abby Winn, are only separated by three years and have grown up close to each other, spending time doing many things together. They have only shared the competitive field for one year as teammates in high school for Zeeland West and now they have shared the pitch as rivals as well. I couldn't imagine the feelings they had suiting up against each other, but they only had positive words for each other.
Kylee, who is a senior defender for the Davenport Panthers women's soccer team, had been looking forward to this match since the day her sister signed her letter of intent to commit to a college. When asked about the situation she had this to say:
Being on the same team as her in high school for a year was such a unique experience. We are very connected and understand each other as players so making plays with her felt easier and more natural than with anyone else. In high school I played outside midfield and she played center forward. She was finishing my crosses more times than anyone else. Being on different teams was really weird. She is a great player and is playing for a really good team. I support her and her success fully. This summer going into our college seasons, we really leaned on each other and pushed each other to work hard. In my opinion, winning is important for success but that is something most families don’t experience. It’s such a cool thing that we’re both on Division 2 teams in the GLIAC. It would have been so cool to play together and I know we connect really well on the field, but I’m so proud of her for living her dream and playing for Grand Valley. She has been working for that for as long as I can remember.
Her sister, Abby, is a freshman midfielder on the defending National Champion Grand Valley State Lakers women's soccer team. She has always looked up to her sister and has wanted to be just as good if not better. Now, she has that opportunity as she finds her role on her own team. When asked about playing against her sister Abby said:
When we were on the same team in high school, we connected really well with each other. She would send me perfect crosses from wide spaces and I would connect on the end of them and vice versa. Obviously, I grew up watching her play and she grew up watching me so playing on different teams is a little difficult. It is an interesting experience, as it is hard to separate the difference of my sister to my opponent. She has helped me a ton with knowing more about the game of soccer in general or my fitness when I needed it. This past summer, we both trained together when we got the chance and kicked the ball around which I enjoyed a lot. Sharing the field with my sister was super important to me even though we were wearing different jerseys. I love the competition we have back and forth, and it’s even better that we now play in the same conference!
Playing against your siblings in the yard is always fun because it's a meaningless competition that you all take so seriously and then forget about five minutes later. All those memories made playing around in the yard turn out to be skill builders as well, making each other better at everything.
Eventually, you come to a place where you can't always play together, but the key is to make it just as fun as it used to be in the yard.