Words and gestures aren’t necessary. In that crucial moments, it’s difficult to know for sure if it’s a twin thing, a sister thing, or a teammate thing. But Calli looks back, Molly makes her acknowledgment from the goal, and suddenly everything is OK.

“If I can look at her from midfield, she’ll know what I mean and what I’m trying to say to her,” Calli said. “I know how to help bring up her confidence. And she knows if she needs something on the field, I’m always there.”

“You just click, and you know,” Molly added. “We’ve put more time and work into soccer than anything, basically anything you can think of.”

The senior siblings, identical only in their single-minded pursuit of a state championship, have at least one more opportunity to lace up the cleats and test that unbreakable bond.

No. 2 Edward Little (12-1-3) has advanced to the regional final for the first time in 13 years and will host No. 5 Mt. Ararat (10-4-2) for the Class A East title at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Girls’ sports teams that are this successful often discuss team bonding or the need to develop a sisterhood if they are to achieve their ultimate goals.

Advertisement

In the Red Eddies’ case, some of that work was already done. Of the five seniors on the EL roster, three are part of a sister combination. In addition to the Murray twins, senior Makayla Norcross and freshman Piper Norcross will share the weather-beaten turf in pursuit of a shot at Saturday’s state game.

“Sometimes we don’t always get along,” Piper acknowledged.

The older sister measured her words more diplomatically.

“I like it,” Makayla said. “This is really our first time on a team together. We work together pretty well. It’s nice that you automatically know someone.”

Craig Latuscha coaches both girls’ soccer and boys’ hockey at EL. He has guided teams with sisters, with brothers, and with athletes whose closest sibling suits up for his other squad.

Having the added dynamic of multiple sister acts on the current team hasn’t been a problem, he said. Much of that is due to the caliber of the players involved and their leadership skills.

Advertisement

The Murrays, Makayla Norcross and fellow seniors Olivia Paione and Hannah Smith all have been part of the team since Latuscha took over three years ago.

“Sisters are sisters, and coaching girls is definitely different than coaching guys. You’ve got to adjust to that, and you’ve got to be able to read your players,” Latuscha said. “Everyone is different. Sometimes one sister I can respond and react to in a certain way, and the other I can’t. You’ve got to learn your players and learn what they can take and what they can’t take.”

Calli and Molli Murray have played three sports together since they were 5: Soccer, basketball and softball. When asked to choose their favorite, both are quick to select soccer.

In addition to the obvious link between them, the two are bonded on the field — and to their other teammates who were part of it — by a quarterfinal, penalty-kick loss in the 2013 playoffs.

“Losing by one in PKs absolutely killed us. Last year’s seniors were losing it. We were losing it,” Calli Murray said. “If we weren’t here, all together, every day as a team, I don’t know where we would be right now.”

The Red Eddies will be the significantly younger team in Wednesday’s game.

Advertisement

Piper Norcross is one of 14 of 24 players on the roster who are either freshmen or sophomores.

“I didn’t think we’d get this far,” she said. “I’m glad we did.”

Again, her sister’s eyes widened.

“You didn’t?” Makayla asked. “I had faith.”

“We’ve done a lot more together. I think our personalities have just bonded over the season, and everyone wants the same thing,” Molly Murray said of the team’s success. “The way we work together is just incredible. Everybody brings something different to the team.”

While the Murrays have played club and travel soccer, it isn’t a pervasive part of the culture at EL the way it might be at Mt. Ararat, Brunswick and the Greater Portland schools.

Advertisement

Latuscha has taken a group of multi-sport athletes and molded, well, a family.

“Brothers in hockey are different altogether. Hockey is a different character. We all know that,” the coach said. “In the end we’re all shooting for the same things: to be a team, to win some games, and the ultimate goal is to compete for a state championship in the end.”

Whether or not the Red Eddies reach that pinnacle, the idea that it will end later this week, win or lose, is a sobering thought.

“Knowing it’s almost over is really depressing,” Molly Murray said. “Coach talks about how it’s almost over and you have to make the best of it, and some of us cry, even at practice. Knowing it’s the last time I’ll ever play high school soccer kind of gets to me.”

The good news: There’s a guaranteed hug awaiting, on the field and at home.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.