Sisters of the Women's National Championship
For most, at the age of training wheels and tree forts, they become our first opponent – encompassing the true definition of backyard rivals.
Before there was even a score board to light up, a defender to dodge or reserve chip shot to save, siblings helped nurture and grow our ambitious spirit with playground games of tag and tether ball. As the years passed transitioning from our elementary days to elite field hockey players our siblings have always been a constant encourager and motivator inadvertently preparing us for relentless competition on the pitch. This year at the Women’s National Championship four sets of sisters have earned their spot at the tournament bringing their will to win and their family name.
Emma and Meg Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), Kelsey and Katelyn Smither (Suffolk, Va.), Tara, Michelle and Carissa Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Meghan and Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.), Katie and Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.)
usafieldhockey.com caught up with the four sets of sisters for a quick interview.
USA Field Hockey: Describe your sister off of the pitch.
“Kelsey is caring, honest and passionate about everything she does. She is fun-loving, goofy and a great dancer. We jokingly say that even though we are six years a part, we are twins and practically the same person. Well, minus the dancing.” – Katelyn Smither
USA Field Hockey: What’s your chemistry like together on the pitch?
“Chemistry is hard to come by on a hockey pitch. It is ignited and intensified by friendship, love and a mutual respect. And having chemistry is electric. It's one of the greatest ways to play the sport. Carissa and I are great friends the kind that argue and make up in three minutes and only sisters, married couples and best friends understand that analogy. The chemistry between us reflects our relationship is empowering. I love having her on the field next to me and I trust her with my life. It's hard to earn that type of trust. I guess that's what 21 years together does.” – Michelle Vittese
USA Field Hockey: What do you admire most about your sister as an athlete?
“As an athlete, I admire her work ethic the most. It reflects in all other things she does as well like her job, her new marriage, and as a sister, friend, and daughter. She will give you everything she has all the time, and she has high expectations for herself as well which just adds to the discipline she has overall. She wants to leave it all out on the field, every practice and every game.” – Kelsey Smither
USA Field Hockey: What’s your favorite field hockey memory with your sister?
“Beating Garden City in state semi-finals my sophomore year and Meg's senior year. We won in overtime in a very dramatic finish. That might be the only time I've ever cried happy tears, lame, I know, but I'll never forget celebrating that win with her.” – Emma Bozek
USA Field Hockey: When did you and your sisters start playing field hockey?
“I have been playing field hockey since sixth grade. Michelle started when she was in fifth grade and Tara started when she was in fifth grade as well. So that would make it 10 years. We first got involved with field hockey through the sport my father played, roller hockey. I started playing roller at the age of six and I loved it more than anything, but there wasn’t really roller hockey at school, so we started playing field hockey, which was close enough. It was actually very easy to pick up from roller hockey, even though the rules and equipment are extremely different. My mother also wanted us to play field hockey because that is what she played growing up. I guess it runs in the family.” – Carissa Vittese
USA Field Hockey: What’s it like to compete at WNC with your sister?
“It is an honor to play at such a high level tournament with my sister, but also something that is very special for us because we so rarely get to compete with or even against each other on the hockey field because of our age difference. Of course, because we are on different teams, it will turn into a competition as everything we are around does. However, I’m so grateful I will get to see her compete and have the opportunity for selection throughout the summer in hopes of representing the US in the Junior World Cup.” – Katelyn Smither
These siblings prove their biggest supporter isn’t necessarily on the stands but right alongside them on the turf. For more WNC coverage checkout usafieldhockey.com and @USAFieldHockey for tournament updates, results and features.