FIELD HOCKEY: McCoys Find Early Success
Twins Connect On Field To Ignite BC Offense
Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2013 01:10
If you want to have an interview with Emily and Eryn McCoy, it may be best to set some ground rules. For example, establish early which side of the table each should sit on, or at least who will answer each question first, as without these foundations, you are likely to mix up who you’re speaking to. On the field, the identical twins wear different hairstyles and numbers, but in street clothes, the two are at first indistinguishable.
All of the ground rules will be forgotten, however, as the dynamic pair warms up. All of a sudden, you will find yourself desperately scribbling notes as they finish each other’s sentences, jokingly correct each other, and find themselves repeating what their twin had just said. It’s safe to say that they are in sync.
The McCoys are two of the newest additions to the Boston College field hockey team, and right from the start of the season, they have made their presence known on offense. Even though their careers at BC are young, the twins have years of experience under their belts that started at an early age.
Living in the field hockey hub of Lancaster, Penn., Lisa McCoy, the duo’s mother, purchased her daughters their first sticks when they were as young as five years old. Even before they were old enough to play organized field hockey, the McCoys developed their skills by hitting in their back yard with their mother.
The fact that they took to field hockey so early was no surprise. Lisa McCoy had played for the same high school that her daughters attended, and she eventually moved on to coaching for club teams and high school programs. While the McCoy household was not always all field hockey all the time, the other sports that the twins partook in had a greater purpose and prepared them for their eventual success on the field hockey field.
“As they developed, there weren’t as many younger age group field hockey options out there, so I let them play soccer because I knew that the field position for soccer was very similar to field hockey and that would help them,” Lisa McCoy said.
Emily and Eryn started playing on club teams in middle school and then went on to play at Penn Manor High School in Millersville, Penn.—the school where their mother was, an assistant coach. During their time there, the Comets won three Lancaster-Lebanon League titles as well as two District III championships. Both earned first-team All-American honors during their senior year.
The McCoys also gained valuable international experience during their high school years. Spring of their junior year saw them travel to Canada with the U.S. Junior National Under-17 team, and the year after they joined the Under-19 squad on tour in Holland. Their international coach was Ainslee Lamb, BC head coach.
When it came time to look toward the next step in their education and in their field hockey careers, the McCoys had an unusual obstacle. All the years competing together had made them a powerful duo to have on the field, side by side.
“I think the more they play together the more connected they become on the field, too,” Lisa McCoy said. “Sometimes, it was really noticeable in high school when they played together, they knew where each other was on the field and were able to connect passes because of that sort of connection they have.”
Not all coaches took note of this special connection, and some tried to recruit Emily and Eryn individually, but the tight pair was eager to play together for at least another four years.
“We were just looking at college options,” Emily said, “some colleges didn’t want both of us so we didn’t look at them, and then…”
“We had known Ainslee before, though, with U.S.A. stuff, we had worked with her,” Eryn finished.
Knowing that they liked Lamb’s coaching style, the McCoys attended junior day at BC as one of their first visits, then committed later down the line. Since their arrival at BC, Lamb has seen how valuable the bond between sisters can be on the field.
“They’re definitely a lot of fun to watch,” she said. “They like connecting with each other, oddly enough.”
It’s easy to look at a pair of twins that spend so much time together and play the same sports and lump them together, but underneath the identical surface lies two very different people.
“I’m more shy and just more laid back,” Eryn said. “She’ll tell you how it is. She doesn’t care, she’ll tell you straight up.”
This comment earned her one of many playfully-offended looks from her sister, but Emily also agrees full heartedly.
“Most people say I’m a lot more sassy,” Emily said. Eryn is quick to interject.
“She’s more aggressive.”
This earns her another look before Emily continues.
“And more aggressive and more outgoing,” she finished.
These different personalities translate directly into their styles of play. Their mother explained that Eryn contemplates her play and is a confident, determined player who thinks through her actions, whereas Emily goes after the ball with more aggression.
“She doesn’t hold back. Sometimes she doesn’t control herself,” said Eryn with a smile, earning another indignant face from her sister.