Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girls Field Hockey: Wilmsmeyer Sisters Building Program, Legacy at Rosati-Kain

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girls Field Hockey: Wilmsmeyer Sisters Building Program, Legacy at Rosati-Kain

Article excerpt

As a declaration of unity, teammates often huddle together on the sidelines and shout the word 'family' before taking the field.

For the Rosati-Kain field hockey team, the word 'family' is not just a figure of speech.

Of the 11 players on the field at one time, the Kougars often play with four Wilmsmeyers -- twin seniors Ana and Olivia and sisters sophomore Ella and freshman Isa.

Ana is the leading goal scorer, Olivia is the crafty midfielder, and Ella and Isa are shutdown defenders. In essence, to score a goal against Rosati-Kain, a team must run the Wilmsmeyer gauntlet.

"All four of us are better at different things," Ana Wilmsmeyer said. "Olivia is a really good defender, I'm good with strength and getting calls for us, Ella's a little firecracker and Isa just goes for it."

Ana and Olivia dabbled in volleyball and track in their youth, but wanted to try a new sport when they entered high school. One day, they accompanied one of their five brothers to watch his girlfriend play field hockey at Rosati-Kain.

"Until the summer before our freshman year, we had never heard of field hockey," Ana Wilmsmeyer said. "Then we went to that game and thought, 'This is cool.'"

Since then, the twins have been the catalysts for a program that continues to grow. The senior co-captains have not only encouraged their younger sisters to play the sport, they are quick to encourage Rosati-Kain underclassmen to try out for the team as well.

"Their dedication to the program has led them to be some of the best recruiters to new and returning students," Rosati-Kain coach Julie Murphy said.

In fact, this is the first season in several years that the Kougars have fielded completely separate varsity and junior varsity teams, no longer needing anyone to "swing" -- play for both teams on the same afternoon.

The Wilmsmeyer family has a grass field behind its home in Granite City, Illinois, where at times all 11 members can be found playing soccer, lacrosse or field hockey. …

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