Siblinghood is all about competition.
Such is the case for Carrie and Elizabeth Hesen, sisters who also serve as a pair of dynamic defenders for the Salisbury University women’s lacrosse team.
The duo from Glenelg High School has combined to win four Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week awards. Carrie, a senior, has earned three this season, while her younger sister received the award for the first time in her career on April 5.
For older sister Carrie, seeing Elizabeth win the honor as a freshman was like a weight off her shoulders.
“When she won the award, I was so proud. It was a big relief to see her step up and step in,” Carrie said. “She filled some pretty big shoes from the year before, and really showed that she can do this thing on her own.”
The awards being racked up by the sisters may have spurred some newfound competition.
This, of course, is nothing new to these two.
“We definitely have some competition, but it’s good competition,” Carrie said. “We are always pushing each other, trying to one-up the other. It’s always been that way for us.”
For Elizabeth, her older sister being a Sea Gull did not make her commitment a no-brainer.
When it came time to make her college decision, Elizabeth was hesitant to follow in her sister’s footsteps.
“At first, I wanted to make sure that I made a name for myself and wasn’t in her shadow. I was thinking about doing my own thing,” Elizabeth said. “But then I changed my mind and decided to come to Salisbury, and I’m really glad I did.”
Despite growing up together and attending the same high school, the Hesen sisters had never lined up together on the same team until this season.
That was the sweetest part for Carrie, when she found out that her younger sister would be joining her.
“When she decided to come to Salisbury, I was so excited,” Carrie said. “We never got the chance to play on the same team in high school, since I was at the varsity level and she was with [junior varsity.] So, I was really looking forward to the opportunity to play with her.”
Despite her hesitance to follow her sister to college, Elizabeth now appreciates her sister’s presence.
Especially during a freshman year spent battling a pandemic, Elizabeth said having Carrie by her side has been invaluable.
“She’s really been a great leader and role model for me,” Elizabeth said. “It’s been awesome having her here to guide me along.”
As fun as it is for the Hesen sisters to finally be playing alongside one another, it may be even more enjoyable for the man calling the shots on the sideline.
Head women’s lacrosse coach Jim Nestor said having the pair on the backline has been unique.
“It’s been a special experience,” Nestor said. “With the level they are playing at, it’s been fun to watch as a coach.”
Nestor shared Carrie’s enthusiasm when Elizabeth decided to be a Sea Gull.
“I was thrilled when Elizabeth decided to commit here,” Nestor said. “With the success we’ve had, I think the university really sold itself to her.”
Now, the duo has their sights set on what they came to Salisbury for in the first place, a national championship.
By TOMMY WEST
Photo courtesy of Sports Information.