The SUNY New Paltz women’s soccer team is known to be a tight-knit group, but the left side of their starting lineup is a little closer than the rest.
Cousins Patti and Beth Bowling grew up and played soccer together for many years on Long Island before coming to play for the Hawks in 2009. They know each other’s style, which they said can boost the Hawks’ game play.
“It helps out our team because we know how each other are playing,” said Patti.
The Bowlings have taken over the left side over the last two seasons, with Beth at midfield and Patti in the back end. Head Coach Colleen Bruley believes that having the two of them on the left side has been a key component to the Hawks’ recent success.
“Over the past two years, they’ve really been working well together on the left side,” said Bruley. “They’re just so used to working together and play off of each other so well and know each other so well. It’s really been a benefit to have both of them there together.”
As a mid-fielder, Beth has had more opportunities to score and collect statistics than Patti. Because of this, Beth has been named nphawks.com and SUNYAC Women’s Player of the Week multiple times this season. Instead of getting jealous, Patti said she gets even more excited than her cousin.
“I get excited when she gets SUNYAC Player or the New Paltz Hawk Player of the Week,” said Patti with a smile.“I put it all over her Facebook wall and embarrass her.”
The cousins said they did not originally plan to go to college together after graduating from different high schools. Although they played on the same club team for six years before coming to New Paltz, each other again.
“I wasn’t sure that they were planning on going to the same place,” said Bruley. “They kind of did their own thing, but it worked out that they both decided to come, and it’s worked out great.”
Patti and Beth each made a few visits to the New Paltz campus while looking at other schools, but only made one together. Patti committed to New Paltz early in the process after visiting numerous times and meeting with Bruley. Beth made the decision to join Patti a few months later after visiting a few more schools.
“I’m glad I go to school with her!” said Patti, leading Beth to comment.
“You get to deal with me all the time!” Beth said.
While both of them looked at many different SUNY schools, Beth originally wanted to go farther up north while Patti planned on staying close to home. When all was said and done, they both decided that New Paltz was the perfect distance from home for both of them.
The cousins said that their parents enjoy being able to drive up for games together. The situation was not only better for the cousins, but for their parents as well.
“They know we cause some raucous up here, but,” said Patti.
“They get to keep an eye on both of us,”Beth continued.“They love it.”