‘We’re at the point where we can be happy for each other’

Cody Erbacher

Field hockey twins eschew sibling rivalry

Whenever the Kent State field hockey team is playing, spectators might have a hard time figuring out which Sickel is on the field.

Chelsea and Julie Sickel, twin sophomores from Plaistow, N.H., also both play back for the Flashes.

“We’ve always been best friends, and (Chelsea) will always be my best friend,” Julie said. “If anything, we might be closer right now because we’re away from home.”



Where: Oxford, Ohio

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The duo has played field hockey since the summer before their sixth grade year, but they haven’t always had the opportunity to play on the same team.

“Growing up, we would try out for the same teams,” Julie said. “Sometimes one of us would make (the team), and the other wouldn’t.”

Although the Sickels have two older sisters who played field hockey at the collegiate level, there isn’t a fierce sibling rivalry among the family members. The sisters said joking is as intense as the competition gets.

Now the Sickels have the opportunity to help each other by playing on the same team.

Chelsea used to play offense, but has now moved into playing defense. Julie is there to help her in the transition.

“(Julie) really helps me out from the sideline and during timeouts,” Chelsea said. “She just has so much defensive instinct.”

Defense isn’t foreign to her since she has played the position in high school, but she is glad to have Julie coaching her through the transition.

Siblings sometimes have the natural instinct to feel jealous whenever a sister or brother has a big accomplishment. But if either of the twins has an astonishing play on the field, the other is right there to celebrate.

“Any type of accomplishment (Julie) has I’m completely happy for her,” Chelsea said. “I feel no jealousy; it doesn’t really enter my mind at all to be jealous or competitive in that way.”

This season Chelsea has seen the field more than Julie, but that doesn’t affect Julie’s mindset.

“We’re at the point where we can be happy for each other,” Julie said. “If she makes the game winning goal I’m going to be out there and cheering for her the hardest.”

As freshmen, Chelsea saw the field four times while Julie only played during the opener. Both received the NFHCA Division I National Academic Team.

The sisters are playing more this season. Chelsea has started seven, and played in every game. Julie has started four, and played in six games.

“We’ll tease each other, like ‘I started this game, and you didn’t,'” Julie said. “We have different strengths as players and different skill sets that we use.”

Contact sports reporter Cody Erbacher at [email protected].