Eric Emmerling's NH College Notebook: Final curtain call for soccer sister act
Candia resident and Manchester Central High graduate Jordan Muse in action for Wheaton College. (KEITH NORDSTROM)
FITTINGLY ENOUGH, twin sisters Cassey and Jordan Muse teamed up for the final time in the New England Women's Intercollegiate Soccer Association Senior Bowl in early December.
Teammates since they were 5-year-olds, the twins from Candia have been consistent winners, leading Manchester Central to a state soccer championship before heading off to Wheaton College, where they became freshman starters while helping the Lyons earn four NCAA tourney appearances, one NEWMAC regular season co-championship and an overall record of 69-14-14.
Cassey, a forward, completed her collegiate career ranked fourth in Wheaton history with 45 career goals, seventh in points with 112 points and tied for eighth in games played at 93. Jordan, a defender, guided a backline that held opponents to a 0.62 goals against average in four seasons. She's ranked seventh all-time in school history, having played in 94 games.
Jordan netted 10 goals, four of which were game-winners, and played a pivotal role helping the Lyons (18-2-6) post 14 shutouts as Wheaton advanced to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 round, losing 3-0 to Carnegie Mellon in the sectional semifinal.
"There were a lot of tears shed after that game. We were thinking that was our final game together and didn't want it to end," said Jordan. "It was nice to get one more opportunity as teammates at the Senior Bowl, going up against some of the best players from Division I, II and III programs in New England."
"It's been a long and rewarding journey and we've done it all together," said Cassey. Each twin garnered plenty of postseason honors as collegians, including all-league and All-New England selections.
"We've always had a special bond and have had each other's backs. It's going to feel strange after graduation as we go in separate directions," said Cassey.
Cassey, a psychology major, intends to pursue a teaching career. Jordan, a physical therapy major, has applied to several graduate schools.
Throughout life they've been teammates, roommates and best friends. Jordan's first collegiate assist occurred on a pass to Cassey. At Central, Jordan's crossing pass helped set up Cassey's game-winning overtime goal that sent the Little Green to the title game.
"We've always had a way, a unique sense, of working with each other on the field. We are both highly competitive," said Cassey. They also spent countless hours talking soccer. The defender and striker swapped helpful insights and tendencies.
"We didn't like going up against each other in practice," said Jordan. "It didn't happen that much in high school. At Wheaton teammates would love it. They laughed watching us because we're both so competitive and didn't want to give an inch. I'm so glad we went to the same college."
The twins recollect most one-on-one practice battles ending in a draw overall. Competitive heat couldn't begin to scald their sisterhood bond.
"We've been on the same team since we were little kids and I never once fought against it," said Cassey. "Now we both want to stay connected to the sport and keep a foot on the ball somehow. We probably won't be teammates and that's too bad."
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ST. MICHAEL'S COLLEGE forward Cassie Crockett of Gilmanton, a career 102-goal scorer at Gilford, was a Senior Bowl selection but couldn't participate due to injury. Despite missing the final five games, Crockett had a foot on four of the mere 14 goals her team scored this season, netting two goals and assisting on two others. In four seasons and 62 career contests, Crockett scored 10 goals, five of which were game-winners, and added six assists.
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FRESHMAN HARRIER Ryan Brady of Durham was named the Little East Conference Rookie Runner of the Year. The Keene State College freshman recently completed his rookie campaign at the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championship, finishing 79th among 351 competitors with a time of 26 minutes, 37 seconds. He was tabbed the conference's top rookie runner fives this past season.
"It's a well deserving honor for Ryan. He worked very hard this season," said Peter Thomas, the Keene cross country coach. "He should be a bright light for us the next three years."
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LONG DISTANCE SHARPSHOOTER: Kelly Morgan, a junior and former Hollis/Brookline guard, hit 50 percent of her 3-point shot attempts during the fall semester, helping WPI to a 5-3 mark. The 5-foot-8 guard averages 10.1 points an outing, second-best on the team.
Plymouth State University guard Alex Burt of Dover leads the team in scoring, sinking 37.8 percent of his field goal attempts to average 14.3 shots a game. The 6-foot sophomore was the team's (2-6) leading scorer four times, netting a season-high 33 against UMass-Dartmouth.
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Eric Emmerling's weekly New Hampshire College Notebook appears weekly in the New Hampshire Sunday News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.