Since 1863, La Salle University has created a tight-knit campus community that feels like family. And for seven sets of siblings within the La Salle Athletic Department, that family atmosphere has taken on a whole new meaning.
Seven groups of brothers and sisters account for 16 student-athletes who will compete for La Salle sports programs during the 2018-19 season.
The teams represented are women’s soccer, men’s soccer, field hockey, women’s cross country, men’s cross country and water polo. Here’s a look at five of their stories.
FIELD HOCKEY – LOGAN, ’19, AND WILLOW, ’21, OH
The Oh sisters (senior Logan and freshman Willow) connected on a pair of goals in La Salle’s 4-1 win over Richmond on Oct. 12, and each ranks among the leaders on the team in goals and points.
With three years separating the duo, it was Logan who played a big role in her younger sister’s decision to come to La Salle.
“For the last three years I was always here and came to every single game,” Willow said. “It already felt like home; I already knew the team. I liked the small campus and like that it’s in the city.”
Logan said the hardest part about playing together is that, “we hold each other to a higher standard. If I think she isn’t giving her best effort, I’m really on her about that. Sometimes it causes a little bit of family conflict, but it’s all out of good intention.”
MEN’S SOCCER – DAVID, ’19, AND COLIN, ’22, BATEMAN
Another senior welcoming a freshman sibling for a final year as an Explorer athlete is David Bateman. He welcomes his younger brother Colin to the men’s soccer squad.
“We never actually had the opportunity to play together, other than in the back yard,” older brother David said. “Being here and playing college ball together is an awesome opportunity.”
When asked what they do off the soccer field their responses were aligned with those of many other college kids.
“We play a lot of ‘Fortnite’ and watch Netflix,” David said. And Colin quickly replied, “We don’t do much else.”
WOMEN’S SOCCER – MADISON, ’19, AND MACI, ’19, BOWER
Last year, sisters Madison and Maci Bower gained national attention after connecting for the game-winning goal in the Atlantic 10 Championship match against VCU. The win catapulted the Explorers into the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in six years.
“That was the best moment of my career and of my life, I guess,” said Maci. “That was a big time for us to show who we were and how we played together.”
“Madi pretty much knows how I like to play, and I know how she likes to play,” said Maci. “It was really special. One, winning it all because it was definitely the best day of my life. And just having an assist from Madi made it extra special.”
MEN’S SOCCER – GARRETT, ’19, AND CAMERON, ’19, KEYS
Twin brothers Garrett and Cameron Keys have played together throughout their childhood, and their twin connection has helped keep La Salle’s defense on the same page over the past four years.
“We always played together growing up, on travel teams and eventually with the [Philadelphia] Union,” Cameron said. “Me being a goalie and him being a defensive back, it’s good because we have that connection. I know I can trust someone.”
When asked about why they chose La Salle, Cameron said, “Our older brother, Logan, knew the former coach, so we reached out to him.”
The coach, Joe Farrell, let the brothers know the Explorers would love to have them. After visiting, the two visited and eventually the two committed to playing for La Salle.
“We were looking to stay close, and this is an hour, tops, from our house, so our family can come to our games,” Garrett said. “It had Cameron’s nursing major and my premed option. We didn’t want a school purely focused on athletics, and with La Salle we got the best of both worlds.”
CROSS COUNTRY – GRACE, ’20, LIZ, ’22, AND ELEANOR, ’22, MANCINI
Older sister Grace has set a high standard for her younger siblings during her two years at La Salle. An All-Atlantic 10 honoree after an 11th-place finish at the Cross Country Championships in 2017, freshmen twins Liz and Eleanor have big (running) shoes to fill.
“I fell in love with the academic and athletic balance at La Salle,” Grace said. “I liked that it was a smaller school and that my teachers would know me well.”
Liz said “I chose La Salle because Grace came home every break and talked about how much she loved it. I love the atmosphere, the coaches, and I love the academic setting, too.”
And for Eleanor, or “Elle,” the choice was easy.
“I chose La Salle because Liz and Grace chose La Salle,” Elle laughed. “And I couldn’t imagine them running together and me not being a part of the same team.”