The No. 3-ranked Maryland Terrapins take on the No.12 Delaware Blue Hens on Saturday to open up the Maryland Invitational at College Park. Both teams will be playing with added motivation as two Terps players will be competing against their sisters.
Current Terps players, junior defender Sophie Giezeman and senior forward Sabrina Rhodes, will be playing against their sisters, Lisa Giezeman and Sydney Rhodes, for the first time in a regular season match-up. The Terps played Delaware in 2017 during an exhibition contest, but this will be the first meeting in a meaningful game.
Sophie Giezeman and her sister Lisa, both grew up in a town called Leidschendam in Holland. Both sisters went to the same high school at Sint-Maartenscollege and were able to play with each other on a separate club team, a time that Sophie remembers being taught some of the field hockey basics from her older sister.
“I am three years younger than my sister, so she kind of always pushed me to be better,” Giezeman said. “Honestly, I started field hockey because I saw her playing.”
The two talented field hockey players will see a lot of each other Saturday, as Sophie plays defense and Lisa is a forward, scoring 27 goals in her 67 games with Delaware. Sophie will be supported by her mother who will be making the trip to College Park.
“My mom is flying over to see the game because it’s kind of special,” Giezeman said. “It’s going to be my sister’s last year in the United States, it’s special to have my family around.”
For Maryland forward Sabrina Rhodes, her relationship with her twin sister is one that is extremely close. Even with that close relationship, the twins share a competitive side that has been with the two since childhood.
“I am really excited because I know that Sydney is a great goalkeeper,” Rhodes said. “She will be expecting my shots, and I think it will be really competitive. We work well together, we have played sports together since we were really little. We are always going to be a little competitive.”
Sabrina Rhodes has had an up-and-down four years at Maryland, starting only 10 games for the team. Sydney has had a similar type of career at the 2016 national champion Delaware Blue Hens, as the redshirt junior has only started two games entering the 2018 season. Both players are seeing their roles expanding this season, however, and the twin sisters are trying to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Entering the tournament Saturday, head coach Missy Meharg won’t be worried about the energy and excitement from Giezeman and Rhodes. Meharg, however, remains confident that her players will be calm, cool and collected for the opportunity to play against their sisters.
“Their level of competing with each other and against each other is really deep,” Meharg said. “We have not had Delaware on our schedule in years and one of the reasons I put them back on was because of how close they are [and] how good they have become. I think it’s a very healthy competition.”