It’s not often that you find a set of twins on the same sports team.
Yet, for the past two fall seasons, UR Women’s Soccer (URWS) has housed not one, but two sets of twins.
The Stagg twins, seniors Lee and Kim, are veterans of the team, having played all four undergraduate years, whereas the Runyan twins, sophomores Megan and McKenzie, just completed their sophomore season.
Both sets of twins were open to going to different schools than their sibling, but after all being recruited by head coach Thomas “Sike” Dardaganis, they were sure that the University was the place for them.
“[It] just so happened that we fell in love with the same school.” forward McKenzie Runyan said.
The Runyans, hailing from Chicago, were especially close freshman year because they roomed together. Now sophomores and no longer rooming together, Megan and McKenzie are still very close.
The Staggs are also tight-knit, though they do have different personalities, which has helped the team distinguish one from the other.
Telling both sets of twins apart from each other has never been a huge issue, due to the amount of time the team spends together.
“You kind of just accept that you don’t have free time,” midfielder Kim Stagg said. “Your free time is soccer.”
The Runyans agreed, emphasizing how family-oriented the soccer team is. Having another actual family member on the team certainly adds to that feeling.
For the sophomore Runyans, having a twin on the team has led to both friendly competition and constant improvement of their game.
“We started off really young together and we’ve never been seperated really when it comes to soccer,” defender Megan Runyan said. “Just to continue that has been really nice.”
“I think it’s because we are so similar,” sister McKenzie added. “If one’s doing better, it makes you think, ‘Well, she’s so similar to me—why can’t I be that good?’”
McKenzie and Megan play different positions on the field, as do the Stagg twins, which has helped the team connect more.
“If I can talk to anyone on the field in a very quick and direct way, it’s my sister, it’s Kim,” Lee Stagg said.
Off the field, the Stagg twins have pushed each other academically. Just recently, Kim and Lee were named to the UAA All-Academic team for the third consecutive year.
Though this season has been difficult for the team, ending with a record of 5–7–6, there still are many positives. Highlights for the 2016 team included a 3–1 win over Washington University in St. Louis and a hard-fought win over Brandeis University, both UAA conference rivals for the Yellowjackets .
“We did play against some great teams and we were able to beat WashU,” midfielder Lee Stagg said. “That was a huge win, they were one of the best [teams].”
The Runyans and Staggs thought that the team played well overall, but both set of twins couldn’t believe that amount of time the team hit the crossbar.
“I think we hold a solid record of how many overtime goal posts we’ve hit,” McKenzie Runyan said.
This is something the team will work on next season. Certainly, the Staggs have left their legacy on URWS, and have paved the way for the Runyans to do the same.
The same dominance that the Flower City Tournament award–winning Staggs have portrayed over their years will be followed by their younger counterparts, who, as freshmen, both achieved Honorable Mention All-UAA status.