Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Soccer twins help churn out wins for team

Linnea Soo '18 (left) and Alissa Soo '18 bring dynamism to the women's soccer team. Photo by Hannah Bashevkin.
Linnea Soo ’18 (left) and Alissa Soo ’18 bring dynamism to the women’s soccer team. Photo by Hannah Bashevkin.

On most varsity teams at Whitman, it is traditionally the upperclassmen that are looked to for the big plays or for the consistent performances. For first-years Alissa and Linnea Soo on the women’s soccer team, however, age is just a number, and both are already contributing regularly to this year’s success.

There is certainly a sense of blindness when it comes to what year a player is on the Whitman women’s soccer team. Instead, skill, rather than seniority, is emphasized when considering playing time.

“The Soo twins,” as they’ve become known as, are two of many first-years that are consistently being recognized as younger difference makers. Alissa, a forward, is a dynamic player who scored her first collegiate conference goal against Lewis & Clark. Her sister, Linnea, is a defender on the team who has started the last seven games for Whitman and provides frequent attacking support from the back.

Being twins who play the same sport on the same team, the two are frequently subject to comparisons, but they try to keep these distractions at bay and focus on helping each other improve.

“We’re not always competing because we’re not [that] type of twins, but we definitely want each other to do well,” said Linnea.

Alissa echoed that statement, talking about how the competitive nature of them as athletes has never come between them as sisters.

“We compete in the sense that we push each other to get better, but never to the point of fighting or any hard feelings,” said Alissa.

Their competitive nature comes out more often at practice and in games, constantly pushing themselves and others to be better, something senior captain Nicolette Carnahan has seen as something in particular that the two bring to the team.

“They’re always working hard at practice and in games. I’ve never seen them take a day off mentally or physically,” said Carnahan.

As a pair, Alissa and Linnea work well together, especially when playing on the same side of the field.

“I think they compliment each other well. Even though Linnea plays defense, she’s always getting into the attack, and they always connect with each other and work with each other well,” said sophomore Lena de Guzman, one of their close friends on the team.

Carnahan also acknowledged how their contrasting responsibilities on the field has led to their skills complimenting each other quite well.

“I think they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Alissa is really good at taking people on and making plays up top, where Linnea is great at reading plays and making tackles on defense,” Carnahan said.

Off the field, they are also different in many ways. Though they have obviously grown up together and shared a lot of interests, there are elements about their personalities that differ.

“On the surface we both do like very similar things, but there are more nuanced things to it. For example, we both like art, but I like photography and she liked drawing for a little while. So we are pretty similar, but once you get to know us better, you see there are definitely differences too,” said Linnea.

One area where they do not differ, though, is in another sport, ultimate Frisbee, where they both played on the team that won the national championship their senior season in high school.

Besides that, they have been focused on school and soccer this year. Though their social life has been centered mostly around the soccer team, they both intend to branch out outside of soccer.

“As cliché as it sounds, I really like the independence of college,” said Linnea. “And though Alissa and I are playing soccer together and live in the same building, we are developing different friend groups outside of the soccer team. And this is the first time where I maybe don’t know the people she’s talking to, and I like that because there’s always been an element of people comparing us, and now it’s nice because we’re able to branch out a bit more and becoming more independent.”

For the moment though, their closest friends are on the soccer team, and for Alissa, that has really helped her adjust to college life.

“Having the team as a friend group has been great coming into college and coming into an unfamiliar environment but having a support system to help break into college life,” said Alissa.

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