DeKALB – It is rare to see three siblings on the same team.
But, for the DeKalb girls soccer team, the three sisters have made a difference for the Barbs.
Abby, Kate and Hannah Hickey have all played significant time for the Barbs this spring and all three hope to make an impact in the postseason. DeKalb will start play at the Class 2A Burlington Central Regional today.
“It is really nice to have them on the team, and it is kind of weird because they are my younger sisters and I don’t want to boss them around,” Abby Hickey said. “But, it is nice that they know what I do and it is nice to have someone to play with.”
Abby, a senior and the oldest sibling, has been a key piece to the Barbs’ success this season. The senior has been a mainstay at the stopper position until she picked up an ankle injury late in the season, but hopes to be available for the regional.
Kate, a junior and the middle child, plays sweeper in the Barbs’ sweeper-stopper formation. Abby and Kate had formed a formidable partnership in the Barbs’ undefeated conference season. DeKalb finished Northern Illinois Big 12 East play with a 6-0-4 record.
“I think we work really well together and we understand each other,” Kate said. “We know what to do and it makes us stronger as a team because we connect really well.”
DeKalb interim coach PJ Hamilton said that he knows what to expect from Abby and Kate.
“Can’t change Abby Hickey – you know what she brings to the table,” Hamilton said. “And, Kate just solidifies the back of our defense and makes sure she is owning it and cleaning everything up.”
Since Abby’s injury, Hannah, the youngest sibling, has seen more significant minutes. Hannah was brought up to varsity around BarbFest and has played in different positions. The freshman has seen increased minutes on the backline as the season progressed.
“It is kind of cool to have my two older sisters. I have someone to look up to and learn things from,” Hannah said. “I have kind of adapted and I like to try different positions all the time.”
Hamilton has been impressed with the progress Hannah has made this year.
“I have seen a huge growth in Hannah Hickey,” Hamilton said. “Starting out at the lower level and then just progressing in the right direction.”
Top-seeded DeKalb will play fourth-seeded Hampshire at 5 p.m. today in Burlington.
“I think this season has been great – great senior season,” Abby said. “Going into regionals, I think that we are going in strong. We had a great conference (season) and we are undefeated. I think the regional is well-played out for us.”