First Posted: 9/15/2014
The competitive nature that led Kylie Fisher and Ashlie Lewis into coaching, of course, placed each in intense pursuit of a victory Wednesday afternoon.
The twin sisters, however, wound up in complete agreement that the 2-2 overtime tie between the Dallas and Tunkhannock field hockey teams in the Wyoming Valley Conference game was the appropriate finish to the first time the two faced each other as opponents.
“I think the tie was a nice way to end it,” said Fisher, the Dallas coach. “Of course, as a coach, I would always like to win. But knowing it was against my sister and some of the challenges that we had during the game and our girls worked so hard, it was nice to end it with a tie and both go home happy.”
Lewis’ Tunkhannock team had lost its first three conference games and Fisher’s Dallas team rallied to avoid a loss on a day when both coaches were able to walk away feeling their squads had played well.
“I definitely think it was probably the best-case scenario, especially for our families,” Lewis said.
Lori Hardik, Kylie and Ashlie’s mother, was a neutral observer in attendance along with Sally Mock, their aunt. Eric Fisher, Kylie’s husband, and Bill and Sharron Lewis, Ashlie’s father- and mother-in-law also were at the game.
Rick Rosengrant, Kylie and Ashlie’s father, was in California but texted both throughout what they said was a nerve-wracking day.
Abe Lewis, Ashlie’s husband, was coaching the unbeaten Dallas girls soccer to a 6-1 victory over Pittston Area in a meeting of WVC division leaders on a nearby field on the Dallas school campus. As Dallas trainer Joe Giunta moved between fields, he relayed scores to the spouses on what was a big day for each.
For Ashlie, competing against Kylie was a strange development in a sport that was one of many things they shared through the years as twins. They played alongside each other as starters on the defense at Tunkhannock as seniors in 2001.
“In high school, we were with each other all the time,” Ashlie said. “We shared the same room; we drove to school together; we played field hockey; and we came home together.
“Going to different colleges made us a lot closer because we learned to appreciate each other. And, it has stayed that way ever since.”
Kylie went to King’s College and stayed active in field hockey with Ashlie, who stepped away from the sport, traveling from East Stroudsburg to see the games when she could.
Kylie moved right into coaching as a graduate assistant at King’s and as an assistant at Wyoming Valley West for one year before starting what is now a seven-year career as head coach at Dallas.
Both sisters transitioned from college to careers as educators. Kylie, who lives in Tunkhannock, teaches middle school science at Dallas. Ashlie, who lives in Dallas, teaches fifth-grade math and science at Tunkhannock.
Ashlie started coaching on the junior high level at Tunkhannock. When she found herself starting a varsity head coaching career on little notice in 2012, without an assistant coach for the first two weeks, there was no question where to turn.
“It was me by myself with almost 40 girls starting with the first day of preseason,” Ashlie said. “Right there, Ky stepped in and helped me figure out what I needed to do.”
The twins have discussed strategies, practice plans, opponents and the many nuances of coaching on a nearly daily basis through the last three seasons.
Last spring, they discovered that realignment of the WVC would make them opponents on the field for the first time. They canceled a plan to scrimmage against each other.
Through the recent seasons, players from each team have gotten to know the coaches they went against Wednesday. Tunkhannock players had seen Kylie observing one of their games this season and practices in the past. Dallas players knew what the game meant to their coach.
“We talked a little bit after our game on Monday,” Kylie said. “I kind of joked with them a bit and told them, ‘you’re playing the biggest game of your lives on Wednesday; we’re playing my sister.’
“I think they knew a little bit of the rivalry that was there and the history behind my sister and I playing each other. They definitely played one of the best games I’ve seen them play.”
Jolee Treslar scored for Dallas with 6:10 left in regulation to force the 2-2 tie. Morgan Morris scored the other Dallas goal while Maggie Sohns and Kailey Reposa scored for Tunkhannock.
The teams remained tied through the 7-on-7 overtime session.
“Not everybody likes a tie,” Ashlie said, “but I think it was a good ending for the first time we played each other and we’ll see what happens next year.”