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Soccer sisters

Girls start, finish careers together
By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Paige Tucker and Shea Roberts began their soccer careers as five-year-old girls playing for the Folsom Crickets. The girls, now 21, are finishing their soccer careers together as members of Sacramento State’s women’s soccer team. Born exactly three months apart in 1990, the girls played a year or two together before being placed on different select soccer teams. The girls were reunited at Folsom High where they played on the varsity team for part of their freshman year and the following three years before graduating in 2008. The girls also played two years together with the San Juan Spirits ’90. The fact that they began and will finish their careers together is incredible, considering it spans 15 years. “I love it,” Tucker said. “I never would have thought something like this could have happened. I think we’re extremely lucky and I just think the whole thing is awesome.” Amazingly, Roberts does remember a little bit about the early days of playing with the Crickets. “I remember Paige was a lot taller than me and that she was really good at soccer,” Roberts said. “She was strong and was a lot more intense about soccer than the other girls.” At Folsom High the girls excelled. In the four seasons they played for the varsity team, the Lady Bulldogs posted an impressive record of 54-11-17. Tucker was an all-Delta River League performer for two seasons, leading the league in scoring with 19 goals and seven assists as a sophomore and was named the league’s offensive Most Valuable Player. Roberts earned a varsity letter all four years and was also a two-time all-league player, scoring 10 goals and being named the league’s co-Most Valuable Player as a senior in 2008. Both girls earned scholarships to play soccer in college, Roberts to UC Irvine and Tucker to Sac State. After one season at Irvine, Roberts transferred to Sac State. “After high school I never thought we’d be on the same team again,” Tucker said. “I was really excited when she said she was going to transfer up here.” Roberts added, “I went to Irvine for the fall quarter and then my dad was diagnosed with cancer and the distance was just too hard for me and I wanted to be closer to home. I called Paige and she told me the team was really good and there were two other girls on the team that we played club soccer with.” The girls have been roommates ever since, pretty much inseparable except when they go to class, as Roberts is a business administration major with a concentration in accounting and will graduate next winter, while Tucker majors in communications studies and will graduate in the spring. On the field, Roberts plays sweeper for the Hornets, while Tucker is a center midfielder and lined up right in front of her best friend. The chemistry the two have built over the last three years playing together has helped them succeed as individuals, as well as helping the Hornets to a 6-7-2 overall record this fall and a 2-1-2 record in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets, with Roberts and Tucker playing key roles, won the Big Sky Conference Tournament a year ago, which Tucker said was the highlight of the girls’ playing career together. “Paige is the best person to win the ball in the air,” Roberts said. “She’s good at heading the ball and holds the middle together. She also defends and possess well.” Tucker added, “Shea is fast and tough. She’s one of the fastest girls I’ve ever played with and she’s not afraid to lay her body on the line. She’s been hurt before and I’ve never seen her cry except for maybe two times.” With their collegiate soccer careers nearly an end, Tucker and Roberts hope the team can pull together to win another conference title. The girls will forever remember their time playing together. “It’s extremely bittersweet,” Tucker said. “Shea is an awesome person and a great player and I will miss playing with her.”