Soccer team sports two sets of twins
The MSU soccer team is popular on the MSU campus not only because it won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) last year, but also because of two sets of identical twins playing on the team: Daniela and Gabriela Foncesa and Ashley and Andrea Franco. The Fonseca sisters are sophomores majoring in athletic training, and the Franco sisters are juniors majoring in art with a business minor.
Daniela and Gabriela Foncesa are from Glendale, Ariz., west of Phoenix. Daniela came to MSU last spring while Gabriela transferred to MSU this fall. Gabriela is excited to play for soccer MSU.
“The competition on the team is very high because there are many new, good-quality players in every position,” Gabriela said. “I’m confident that the team will win the conference this year.”
Gabriela and Daniela have been playing together for nine years since they were 10 years old. Gabriela, wearing No. 6, plays midfield defender while Daniela, wearing No. 9, plays forward. As twins, they connect well with each other on the field.
“The best thing about having a twin sister is we are never really alone,” Gabriela said.
The sisters can help each other out whenever one understands something the other does not.
“It’s also kind of fun to mess with people who don’t know we are twins,” she said.
To help teammates distinguish them, Daniela braids her hair, while Gabriela usually wears a ponytail, and they each wear different colored cleats.
Ashley and Andrea are from Long Beach, Calif. They have been playing together for 13 years since they were seven years old. Their dad was their first coach and he coached them until they were 14 years old.
During 2014, they were recruited by Minot State. The twin sisters are the first in their family to play at the college level.
Ashley, wearing No. 7, plays outside back on the right while Andrea, No. 8, plays a defender on the left, even though both are right-footed.
Ashley said that having a twin sister means she has never had to work out alone.
“Sometimes it’s hard to get out there to train by yourself, but I always have my sister with me. The competition is healthy for us but sometimes the pressure is stressful,” Ashley said.
They feel there is special connection between them. Ashley can hear Andrea’s voice even over the sound of the crows without looking to see where she is.
Although they have never played a trick on people, the Franco’s twins have confused their opponents a lot by making them think the same player is playing on both sides of the field.
Once in high school game, Andrea played striker while Ashley played defense. Ashley was the last defender and the ball touched her hand inside the box, which was cause for an automatically red card. The referee got the two girls mixed up and gave a red card to Andrea instead of Ashley. At that moment, their team needed a defender more than a striker, so they let it go, and the referee never realized the mistake.
Soccer fans can catch the twins on the field at Herb Parker Stadium Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. when they take on Concordia University, St. Paul.