Florida team powered by nearly full squad of sisters

Cameron Smith
January 4, 2011

Having brothers or sisters play together on the same team is nothing new. That being said, a girls soccer team at a Florida high school is taking the trend to a new level, fielding almost an entire team comprised of three sets of siblings.

According to the Tampa Bay Online, Gulf (Fla.) High often fields a team where seven of the squad's 11 players also have at least one sister on the field. Three of those sisters -- Hannah, Chelsea and Haley Foster -- are the 14-1 team's three leading scorers.

Making matters even more interconnected, the team-wide sister act is coached in part by assistant Iain Paterson, the Foster sisters' stepfather.

In addition to the Foster clan, Gulf's success has been powered by Dani and Alicia Schulman and Brook and Brianna Rossi. While all three groups of sisters use a deep knowledge of each other's tendencies to their advantage, the Fosters' internal competitiveness has been particularly notable.

"All three kids are great kids, they really are," Gulf head coach Shari Shau told Tampa Bay Online. "But I actually brought them in (my office) at one point and I said, 'You guys have got to calm down.' Having that competitiveness to be high-scorer is tremendous because it just makes you work harder. But we've got to tone down the intensity a little."

While the Foster sisters have done their best to try, it's hard to play down some of the traditional banter that emerges between the trio. When told that senior captain Chelsea foster was best at calming down the team when situations became tense, one of her sisters had an interesting outlook.

"She does a better job than some other people that try," Haley Foster told Tampa Bay Online. "As a sister; I find it annoying. But I tend to try to not think of them as my sisters out there."

It wouldn't be a stretch for the entire Gulf team to think of each other as sisters, given the team's early success. At 14-1 the Buccaneers are a near shoo-in for the playoffs, where Shau said she's convinced this team is destined to thrive.

"I just feel like this group is the best team in the county at this point," Schau told Tampa Bay Online. "That's to say we haven't seen River Ridge yet, but I told the girls after that Mitchell game that there's an old saying about how it's very difficult to beat a team three times in one season. So I would rather have lost to them then than later."

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