‘She always has my back’: Ontario sisters reunite to play soccer at UPEI

‘She always has my back’: Ontario sisters reunite to play soccer at UPEI

‘She always has my back’: Ontario sisters reunite to play soccer at UPEI

There is an argument that Veronica and Patrycia Kozak should play in opposing teams.

The Mississauga, Ontario sisters, 19 and 18 respectively, have reunited at UPEI as soccer teammates as Patrycia is in her freshman year while Veronica is entering her sophomore year.

Based on how much they rob each other and their competitive elbows on and off the pitch, you might think they’d better divide this sibling rivalry across clubs.

But they don’t want it that way.

“If she’s tired or frustrated, I know how to approach her and say, ‘Hey, how are you?'” Veronica said. “There aren’t many arguments either.”

“Not on the field,” Patrycia said quickly, correcting things for good measure.

“We do that off the field,” the sisters said in unison.

“I just like knowing she’s always on the pitch with me,” said Patrycia. “She will always be there for me on and off the field.”

Parents knew from the start

Veronica leans towards the goal and Patrycia is a striker or goalscorer, which creates some extra tension between them. The two would spend countless hours growing up with Patrycia taking kick after kick on the net and Veronica making stop after stop.

They have been playing since childhood, on the same team almost every year.

Patrycia said she thinks her parents planned it that way, so they had to sit in the stands for only one team’s games.

Patrycia Kozak hopes the team will be playoff-bound when the regular season is over. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

A smart move by the parents, and the win-win of it all is that the relationship between the sisters on and off the field has been strengthened. Recently, Veronica and Patrycia toured PEI this summer, taking in the sights, sounds and everything else the island has to offer.

“Honestly, I’m just going on an adventure,” Veronica said. “We like going for a ride and exploring new places.”

“We spent a lot of time together off the field,” Patrycia agrees.

‘Drawing out’ the decision

Playing football here just makes sense. When Veronica first made the decision to play and study at UPEI, she also chose her little sister.

Their parents knew that Patrycia would inevitably don the Panther green and white.

“They weren’t surprised by that,” Veronica said. “Before I went to school, my father said, ‘Oh yes, [Patrycia] going to UPEI in a minute.'”

Patrycia laughed and recalled the day she broke the news that she wanted to study in Charlottetown: “My parents said, ‘It’s about time. You just carried that with you.'”

The UPEI women’s soccer team already has two preseason games in the pipeline, with a few more to go before the regular season kicks off for the squad on September 10 in Cape Breton.

The Atlantic weather will take some getting used to as the season gets colder, Patrycia said, but she hopes the Panthers can be playoff-bound by the end of the game.

“I want to do my best for the team, try to get them to the playoffs,” she said. “I just want to help the team in any way I can.”

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