Rowan Women’s Soccer has had a successful season so far, with a record of 5-0-1. One of the biggest factors of this success has been the three sets of twins on the team: Olivia and Julianna Giordano, Lauren and Lianna SanFelice, and Jillian and Hayley Jankowski. These three pairs of twins each have combined for 24 points in the season.
With this many twins on the team, the team chemistry is strong.
“The chemistry is definitely great,” Lianna said. “Having this many twins and sisters on the same team helps us all feel really close and connected to each other. Even though it may be hard to tell us apart sometimes, it keeps it fun.”
Not only are the Giordanos and SanFelices twins, but they also competed against each other in high school. The Giordanos went to Millville High School, while the SanFelices went to Kingsway. This gives these two sets a sense of familiarity with each other.
“I think we all know how each other plays,” Julianna said. “Playing against Lianna and Lauren in high school definitely helps. We played against them all four years in high school. We can all read each other’s minds. Lianna and Lauren play so close together on the field that we can pretty much tell where the ball is going.”
Their head coach, Scott Leacott, feels like there is a definite advantage to having all these twins on his roster. While he does not specifically try to recruit twins, he definitely does not think it hurts.
“It is nice, especially when the twins are good,” Leacott said. “The Giordanos both came here together. It is not something that we try to do, go out and find twins. I honestly do not think of any other roster in the country that has two sets of identical twins and a third set of non-identical twins. I am not gonna lie, I used to struggle sometimes telling them apart. But now I can tell them apart by their personalities.”
The one set of twins that have really stood out have been the Giordanos. Olivia is second on the team in goals and points, with five goals and 12 points. While Julianna recently scored her first career goal against Swarthmore with only 40 seconds left to tie the game, Olivia also scored that game. They have both been starting since their freshman year, and part of the reason that they have been able to start so early in their careers is the fact that they have had each other’s help from high school to college.
“It has helped us an incredible amount,” Julianna said. “I know how she plays and she knows how I play. We are on the same side, so I know when to play the ball and when not to play the ball. Obviously, we know how each other plays since we have played with each other since we were four years old.”
This transition did not just help them on the field, but also off the field in their personal lives.
“Our whole lives we have never been without each other,” Olivia said. “We always knew we wanted to go to college together. We have been best friends since we were born. We knew that could never change. Being together made the transition a lot easier. I always had a best friend with me. Making new friends is not something I ever had to stress about because I have always had her. I still made friends, but her being with me is always nice.”
With them always playing together, their chemistry is unbreakable on and off the field. No better example of this is when Olivia broke Millville’s high school record for most career goals in a season. That record-breaking goal was assisted by Julianna.
“It was a great play, even though high school was not that exciting,” Julianna said. “Throughout both of our high school careers, I have always wanted to help her succeed and her to achieve her goals. For me to help her get that award and break that record allowed me to achieve that goal.”
For Olivia, breaking that record already meant a lot, but it meant even more for her sister to be right there with her assisting her on the goal.
“It made that goal a lot more special,” Olivia said. “There is nothing better than that. I would not want anyone else being there for me and assisting that goal for me. It put the cherry on top of what was already an amazing moment for me.”
With Olivia and Julianna always being there for each other, Coach Leacott definitely sees that affect them on the field.
“Having all the twins obviously helps with the team chemistry,” Leacott said. “Another thing that is really important is that they have that other person to lean on when things may not be going their way.”
Even though they always have each other’s backs, they can get competitive with each other when it comes to practice. This competitiveness is nothing aside from them just trying to challenge each other.
“Going against each other, we are extremely competitive,” Olivia said. “But that only makes us better. Because when we are on the same team, we can just go after someone hard. We know together that we both have a great work ethic. Going against you if you are the other team is bad.”
With all these twins helping lead the way, Lianna SanFelice has high expectations for the team going forward.
“They voted us number 1 in the preseason poll for the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC),” Lianna said. “Hopefully, the wins come, and we can go out there and get a national championship.”