They look identical, their voices sound the same, and their play on the lacrosse field at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., is also similar.
Twins Brittany and Heather Fraser are causing headaches for opponents and referees alike.
The 5-foot-2 senior midfielders from Topsfield, who each enjoyed storied athletic careers at Masconomet Regional High School, teamed up for nine goals in a 13-12 win over Ithaca last week, rallying the Dutchwomen back from a 12-8 deficit.
The last five goals read: Heather Fraser, Brittany Fraser, Heather Fraser, Brittany Fraser, Heather Fraser.
Heather (14 goals, 4 assists) netted three more goals in a 16-7 win over Rochester Institute of Technology on Friday, while Brittany (13 goals, 4 assists) had two goals in a 13-6 win over the University of Rochester on Saturday.
“Playing my last season of lacrosse has really put things into perspective,” said Heather.
“It’s been a huge part of my life since I was 9, and what’s even more special as a student-athlete is that I’ve gotten to share every step of the way with someone. Not a lot of people can say that.”
The twins are team captains this season, the first time they have held the leadership position on a lacrosse squad, though they’ve played together on almost every team.
In the past, they had inadvertently taken one another’s votes.
“Yeah, I don’t know what happened with that,” Heather joked.
Picture this: The sisters, along with fellow captain Micaela DeSimone , walk up to the officials for the pregame coin toss and introduce themselves. That’s the glass-shattering moment. Refs and opponents know it from there: There are look-alikes on Union’s team.
But it’s never that easy.
With Brittany and Heather both roaming the midfield from end to end, responsible for organizing moving parts on the field and pushing the transition, it can get confusing.
“Brittney’s strength is her quickness and Heather’s strength is her power,” said Union coach Abigail Jackson . “But that is not to say that Heather is not quick and Brittney is not powerful — because they are both.”
Cue the issues. First, for the opponents.
“We’re both in the midfield, so it’s hard. Some people may think it’s the same person running around,” said Brittany. “They’re like, ‘Oh I thought I saw two people but I didn’t know if it was the same person.”
Then, there are the referees.
“In the [Ithaca game], there was a foul on me, and the ref was positioning me [before the restart] behind the girl,” Heather said. “Then the ref moved around, came back and put Britney behind the girl. She was confused, didn’t realize we were two different people.
“After they realize we’re twins they’ll say, ‘I just thought you were everywhere.’”
While Jackson said opponents and referees are “hyper-vigilant to not get them confused,” the Frasers’ versatility only makes it more difficult.
During high school, they considered splitting up.
For a brief moment during their junior year, the sisters played on two separate club lacrosse teams.
“I went to a practice on one team, she went to a different practice for another team, and it was the weirdest thing not playing together,” Heather said. “Even for a day, it was so strange.
“I like telling the story because we didn’t know. We went to the process based on if we liked the school. If I liked a school better than her, just because she didn’t like it didn’t mean I wouldn’t go there. If we liked different schools we didn’t need to be together.”
Although it turned out they did. As much as they both liked Union, their love for one another was a stronger factor.
Heather is majoring in psychology, while Brittany is majoring in biology, and it would be hard for the two to stay together as they prepare for the next step after college.
It’s looking more unlikely now, with Heather applying to nursing school and Brittany applying for physician’s assistant programs.
Even when they studied in France, they found host families that lived across the street from each other. In college, they live in the same house.
Now their time together may be short. They’re trying to take advantage.
“Just being a senior now and looking back, I’m definitely taking risks in a game that I would have never had the confidence to do as a younger player,” Brittany said. “I think back wishing I didn’t waste so much time being timid.”
More Masco success
A few of the Frasers’ former teammates at Masconomet Regional are also enjoying success on the lacrosse field this spring.
Kathleen Ragan , now a senior midfielder at William Smith, is second on her team in points with 11 goals and 10 assists in seven games.
Sydney Godett , a junior midfielder at Boston University, has four goals, five assists, 13 ground balls, and 11 draw controls in nine games.
■ Kenny Vassallo (Wilmington) was named to the Northeast-10 Conference weekly Honor Roll for his play on the tennis court at Saint Michael’s College. It’s the third time in the senior’s career that he earned the honor. Vassallo, typically a doubles player, slid into the No. 6 singles role following a teammate’s injury and picked up a 9-7 win.
■ Joe Papa (Stoneham), a senior first baseman at Trinity, combined to go 5 for 8 with five runs scored, five RBIs, a double, a homer and a steal in a pair of games against Bowdoin last week.
Jason Mastrodonato can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.