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The same, but different

This is the first installment in a series of profiles of brothers and sisters who play for the same athletic team at Northeastern.

Haley and Jenny Sinclair, fraternal twins on the women’s soccer squad, are aggressive yet intelligent young athletes, first-year Huskies who put team before truculence.

“They’re competitive, athletic, and very tough,” said head coach Tracey Leone, a fraternal twin herself. “We’ve definitely benefited from having their type of character on our team.”

Take, for instance, Jenny’s most physical performance of her freshman season, a 2-0 victory over the Hofstra Pride in October. “Midway through the match one of their players shoved me and got a yellow card,” Jenny recalled. “We started pushing each other, but I didn’t let it go any further because it wasn’t worth getting penalized.”

Penalty or no, the soccer sisters’ feisty attitudes helped the Huskies reach last season’s Colonial Athletic Association conference championship. Haley, a forward, scored two goals in 21 games, while Jenny, a defender, racked up at least 90 minutes of playing time in three of her 14 appearances.

Haley’s first collegiate goal was a game-winner against the University of Wilmington last September, a feat for which she received Rookie of the Week honors. “It made me very happy,” said Haley. “All my teammates were very supportive.”

Leone is wont to pitting the twins against each other in one-on-one practice drills, the majority of which the more offensive-minded Haley wins. “I like watching them battle,” Leone explained. “Both of them have so much raw ability and continue to grow from a tactical standpoint.”

The Sinclair sisters will tell you that speed is their biggest strength, which they honed at Deep Run High School in Glen Allen, Va., where they both competed in the 100-meter, 200, 300, and 2X400 relay. “I’m better at long distance,” said Haley, “and my sister’s stronger in sprints.”

Jenny agreed, noting that their athletic prowess is in their genes. Their mom coached gymnastics and their dad played high school football.

“Our mom pushed us to play sports growing up and we fell in love with soccer,” said Jenny. The best part of the game, she notes, is the rush of adrenaline after a victory, saying that she “loves competing and winning is the best thing ever.”

Added Haley: “When you win, you win as a team, and our team is our family.”