HARRISONBURG, Va., Aug. 2, 2012 – A pair of James Madison University field hockey teammates share a unique connection for the 2012 season. Senior midfielder Jenna Taylor (Midlothian, Va./James River) and incoming freshman Danni Wilson will be on opposing sides as they root for their sisters in an upcoming field hockey match at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Jenna’s older sister Shannon Taylor is representing the United States and will be playing Danni’s older sister Jennifer Wilson of South Africa in the final match of group play on August 6.
“I had no idea that Jenna and I both had sisters going to the Olympics,” Wilson said. “It makes me feel connected to Jenna in a way and I haven’t even met her yet.”
In addition, JMU field hockey Associate Head Coach Lynn Farquhar served as a coach during Shannon Taylor’s career at both Richmond and later when she transferred to Syracuse. Farquhar helped coach Taylor to a First Team All-America selection as well as First Team All-Big East and Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year accolades.
The United States and South Africa square off in group B play on August 6 at 10:45 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time at the Riverbank Arena in the Olympic Park.
Where will you be on
Aug 6th, Will you be watching?
Jenna: I will be in the stands watching! I'm very excited that the family and I are traveling to support my sister and the team.
Danni: I won’t be there in person, but hopefully I will be able to find coverage on television somewhere so that I can watch it. I definitely do not want to miss this game.
How do you as sisters
influence each other?
Jenna: We help each other with advice and words of motivation. I know I go to Shannon a lot with different questions, things she has been through before and ask for her advice. She helps me get through my stuff and I hope that I have returned the favor.
Danni: I have always looked up to my sister since I was very little. It is so amazing to watch her play hockey, especially for South Africa. My sister is always there for me.
Any good memories to
Jenna: This winter Shannon came to the track to help time me with the running, without her yelling at me to get my butt moving, I wouldn't have been able to do it. I'd have to say my favorite memory of her hockey career so far, was hugging her in the parking lot after she found out she made the Olympic team. I've never been happier for her.
Danni: I will never forget the time Jen and I played together on the same team in a 6-player tournament. Jen is 14 years older than me, so I was never really able to play on the same team. We ended up winning the tournament. I loved training with her in Canterbury, England with her best friend, who at the time was on the Great Britain team. This past December Jen took me to the Astroturf and helped with my NCSA recruiting video, which led me to JMU.
How are you and your
sister similar/different as athletes?
Jenna: Shannon and I are both very competitive, in any sport or game we are playing. We are very committed athletes, always training and working hard. My mom used to joke when we were younger that if I got hurt during the game I would just keep going and you would never know. I'd say Shannon differs from me there, especially if blood is involved. Although, I will give her credit because she has gotten tremendously better at dealing with such things since the younger days.
Danni: We are very similar as athletes. We are both hard working and we will not give up until the whistle goes. We both like to score goals and will do anything to get the ball in the box even if it means diving for it. Jen and I are both positive at all times so if we are losing a match we will keep fighting and not give up.
If you played each
other in scrabble who would win?
Jenna: It's hard to admit but Shannon does hold the record in Words with Friends wins. I'd like to think that if we were to actually play the board game I would win.
Danni: I can’t say. We have never played scrabble before.
Will they have the
chance to see you play this fall in purple?
Jenna: I sure hope so. Shannon has only seen me play two games at JMU. Since it's my senior season, I made her promise to make it to at least one.
Danni: I am not sure whether she will be able to see me play this fall, but if I know my sister she will do everything she can to make it down to JMU to watch me play at some point in my career.
The field hockey Dukes report to campus next Wednesday, August 8 with their first practice scheduled for August 9. The team opens its season Friday, August 24 in a neutral site game against Vermont in Kent, Ohio.
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