Sets of sisters power Forest Lake soccer team

  • Article by: AARON PAITICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 14, 2013 - 3:59 PM

Forest Lake has five sets of sisters powering its girls’ soccer program


Forest Lake has five sets of sisters on its soccer team (from left to right, front to back): Karley and Lindsay Boleen, Lara and Abby Steinhoff, Josie and Jenny Thill, Savannah and Kassity Swanson, and Emma and Meghan Mattheisen.

Photo: Submitted photo,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger


The idea of creating a family-like bond on a high school sports team is being taken to an exceptional level in Forest Lake, which has five sets of sisters in its girls’ soccer program.

Emma Matthiesen, a senior, is a center midfielder. Younger sister Meghan, a junior, is an outside midfielder. Savannah Swanson, a senior captain, plays outside or center midfield. Younger sister Kassity, a sophomore, is a utility player who can fit in anywhere. Senior captain Lara Steinhoff is the Rangers’ leading scorer. Her younger sister Abby, a sophomore, is a defender.

The Thill sisters — Josie and Jenny — play on the junior varsity squad alongside Karley and Lindsay Boleen.

The sisters are not only playing together. They’re often paired up together on one side of the field.

Practicing at home and on the same teams for all these years has helped all of them become better players. Equally important, it’s helped establish strong chemistry for the Rangers.

“It kind of forms this connection,” said Emma Matthiesen, speaking of Meghan. “I know exactly where she’s going to be and how fast she’s going to be to get there. I know the place to put it when I’m going to pass it to her. Usually with other people it takes time to get used to their type of playing style. With Meghan, it’s always the same thing.”

It’s so noticeable, co-coach Amanda Hansen will even position the lineup accordingly. Hansen will move the girls next to each other on the field when the situation calls for it.

“It makes a difference, whether people believe in that or not,” Hansen said. “I can tell the difference when they’re next to each other on the field. I think sisters and brothers are on a different level sometimes. They can read each other. I think that helps in the anticipation and transitions of the play. All of the sisters seem like they have that sixth sense when they’re on the field together.”

The sister bond has also helped from a motivational perspective. The older sisters always tend to be harder on the younger ones.

“We always want our little sisters to be the best they can be at the position that they play,” Emma Matthiesen said. “We’re really hard on them, but when they make that perfect play, it’s the best thing ever. Because she’s not only my teammate, she’s my little sister.”

The soccer talk doesn’t stop once they leave the field. There’s more chatter at home.

The sisters always are talking about what they can do to improve. They come home and work on passing and other skills. Or they’ll just sit and talk about upcoming opponents and strategy for future games.

“It’s always good to have that one person that isn’t afraid to tell you the mistakes you’ve made and what you need to do to improve on them,” Matthiesen said.

With five consecutive victories to start the season and a 6-2 record through Tuesday’s game, the sister effect is fueling one of the best starts in years for Forest Lake. The Suburban East Conference will present a tough road ahead for the Rangers, but early momentum has put the Rangers on a promising path toward a successful season.

“I have high hopes for the girls,” Hansen said. “It’s a good team this year. I think they’re all maturing and getting better skill-wise and their work ethic is great. It’s all showing on the field.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60


question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters