Aberdeen Matawan Travel Soccer Team Seeing Double
It's not a trick of the eye; this AMSC U-11 team has three sets of identical twins.
Parents and coaches on the sidelines of the soccer field often have trouble telling which player is which as the girls run by in a blur of matching uniforms, knee socks and ponytails.
At Strathmore Field, however, parents and coaches face an even more challenging task - telling apart three sets of identical twins on the same team.
This season, the Aberdeen Matawan Soccer Club U-11 Travel Team welcomed their third set into the league, making nearly 50 percent of their thirteen player team identical twins.
"You would think we're collecting twins," said Coach Joel Miller with a laugh.
Anna and Sara Maragarites, 10, were the first set of identical twins to join the travel league with the Aberdeen Matawan Soccer Club about four years ago, explained their father Dean, who also coaches the team. Their mother often styles the girls' auburn hair differently, with Anna in a pony tail and Sara in braided pigtails, he noted.
About a year ago, Haylie and Paige McNerny, 10, joined the team and Miller admits he still switches the girls' names. The tall and soft-spoken brunettes both tie their hair back in loose buns, adding to how similar they look.
This season, Kacie and Hailey Chapman, 10, tried out for a different AMSC team that never materialized and were placed on the travel team. Miller noted that he sometimes uses the color of their cleats to tell them apart, since Kacie has pink cleats and Hailey has green ones. The blondes are from Marlboro, but opted to play in Aberdeen this year, explained their father Ron.
"We've never had anything like this. We've seen sisters on the same team, never saw three sets of twins, that's for sure," said Ron Chapman. "I thought they were kidding at first."
Sara Margarites, who according to her teammates is a bit of a tough talker during a game, plays defense as a left fullback. Her sister, Anna, plays center midfield and striker. Kacie and Hailey Chapman also both play striker, and Haylie McNerny plays right midfield while Paige plays left midfield.
"Whenever [Anna's] on midfield, I'm here," Sara said, motioning to the area of the field she defends. "Players come down here and they see us and they kind of look both ways."
"They think we are cloning," said Anna, giggling.
"Like, 'Oh my God, she just multiplied. Look, another one,'" Hailey added.
Even if it's a bit shocking for their opponents, it's business as usual for the twins.
"I'm kind of used to it because we've been playing since we were five years old and we've always been on the same team," said Kacie. "I just try to treat her, unless she really bugs me, how I would treat anyone else on the team."
"It's really fun," said Haylie of playing on the same team as her sister Paige.
Paige added, "It's cool and sometimes my dad would to say to her to cross it like really hard so I can be able to shoot."
The other seven players on the team admitted that they still sometimes get the girls confused, but they spend so much time together both on and off that field that they generally know which of their friends is which.
"We've played with the girls for a long time," said Karen, a member of the team. "We're also getting to know their numbers so we can tell them apart by their numbers."
"A lot of them are friends. They all hang out outside of soccer," said Coach Margarites. "There's no cliques."
It's early in the fall 2012 season and there are about ten games total, explained Miller. The girls are working toward as many wins as possible as they face off against the other teams in the league.
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