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Bo Madden carried her twin sister Hattie Madden through rain and mud to complete the 10-mile Wilson Run in 2023. Hattie hurt her calf a couple of kilometers in but Bo refused to let her stop. The pair were going to finish.
“Watching them come in at the finish line, how Hattie was almost hysterical, and Bo carrying her across the finish line was just incredible,” said Beth Cosgrove, one of the twins’ closest friends.
Nick Davey, Hattie and Bo’s field hockey coach at Sedbergh School, was a race marshal for the Wilson run, a school tradition set in Sedbergh, England, since 1881. He sensed something was wrong with Hattie but said “there was no question they were going to make it.”
Bo and Hattie trekked the rest of the seven miles and completed the race together in front of many members of the school community.
“She was dragging me, it was through hills, and mud and I was crying the whole time,” Hattie said. “She was like ‘if you’re not doing it, I’m not doing it’ and I felt bad.”
Bo and Hattie, now freshmen on Syracuse’s field hockey team, describe each other as “comfort blankets.” Hattie said she wouldn’t have reached the Division I level without Bo. The twins from Lancashire, England, are inseparable, playing on almost every team together growing up.
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When they were 11, Bo and Hattie played up on the Lancashire County U-14 team. Coached by Davey, he remembered the two were always competitive and confident despite being smaller.
The one time they did not play on the same team together was when Bo was selected to the England Under-16 Team. Though Hattie wasn’t, Bo said her sister was equally deserving.
“That was so hard for both of them,” Cosgrove said. “Bo supported Hattie so much despite her getting in. Hattie wasn’t jealous of Bo. You could tell how much she supported and encouraged her. She praised her.”
Bo and Hattie’s competitiveness with one another drove them to high levels of field hockey. If one of them scored when they were younger, the other had to as well. Bo said keeping an eye on the goal tally was never spoken about but both kept count in their heads. Over time, Bo and Hattie have understood that it wasn’t always about out-performing each other, but rather providing feedback to each other about enhancing their games.
“They would drive each other on the pitch and give each other quite brutal feedback,” Davey said. “They would still be very supportive and drive each other in a very nurturing way. They were closer to being best friends instead of rivals.”
During their five years at Sedbergh, Bo and Hattie reached the national finals twice, finishing as England Hockey Tier 1 runner-ups when they were 16 years old. The same year, Bo and Hattie won a U-16 National Championship with Thirsk Hockey Club.
Bo and Hattie were named captains in their final year at Sedbergh. The twins regularly asked Davey to set up extra training sessions for the team, even during lunchtime. Bo and Hattie even washed their teammates’ uniforms, making sure everyone was prepared for the next game.
Outside of playing, Bo, Hattie and Cosgrove trained kids aged 7-11 years old every Thursday, coaching them through different drills.
“They would be on the pitch all the time,” Davey said. “They carried their hockey sticks around all the time. If there was ever an opportunity to get on the pitch they would take it. Other girls generally followed them.”
Though Bo and Hattie’s love for the sport is clear, field hockey was something they dreaded when they were younger.
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“We didn’t even want to go, we didn’t like the sport,” Hattie said. “We really didn’t want to play but (our mom) just wanted us out of the house, so she made us go every Sunday for three hours. We grew from there and we loved it eventually.”
The two grew up playing similar positions but now Bo is a midfielder, known for her distribution and defense, while Hattie is a forward. Playing different positions doesn’t diminish their connection.
“They’re really close. You notice that when they’re close to each other on the pitch, you get more than just two players,” Davey said.
At Syracuse, Bo and Hattie are starters on the currently undefeated SU side. In the Orange’s 9-1 trouncing over Vermont on Aug. 27, both Madden twins netted their first collegiate goals. Hattie scored nine minutes ahead of Bo.
“I was just really happy for (Bo),” Hattie said. “To (score) on the same day as well, it made my parents day because they were watching from home.”
Published on September 14, 2023 at 12:45 am