By CUW Athletic Communications Student Assistant Alex Loding
MEQUON, Wis— There goes Pitock down the far sideline. She dekes around her defender and is now on to goal. She enters the arch and slaps a pass to the middle of the field. She finds her sister. She scores the game-winner! Naperville North wins it in overtime! Pitock to Pitock. What an ending! What an ending to a perfect night, a perfect season, and an outstanding career.
Up to this point in Donna and Lorri Pitock's career, that is their defining field hockey moment. They have every intention of making new memories and scoring numerous game-winners over the next four years for Concordia University Wisconsin.
Every fall, millions of high school graduates go off to college, including the Pitock twins. Millions of teenagers say goodbye to their parents, as they leave the nest and start their adventure alone. Also, every fall is the time when twins not only say goodbye to their parents but goodbye to their life-long partner. This will be the first time they go off on their own without the help of their parents and without their life long best friend. However, that isn't always the case.
There is the rare occasion that twins don't split up. Some twins, like this dynamic duo, are too special to split up. Donna and Lorri Pitock, Naperville, Illinois natives, are examples of this exception. More uncommon, is twins being on the same sports team while attending the same university. The Pitock sisters are freshmen at CUW and both play for Samantha Schoessow, the head coach of the Women's Field Hockey team.
These twins have been playing field hockey together for over six years. Donna is a forward, who will be studying social work, and Lorri is a midfielder, who plans on studying athletic training. They discovered the game in middle school and fell in love with the sport as soon as they touched a stick.
"Our family is really big into sports and we were always moving around from sport to sport. We received a flyer in the mail that was for field hockey. Our dad said that he hadn't heard much about it, but it is a great sport, so we went out on a whim and showed up," said Donna Pitock. "I remember picking up the stick and instantly falling in love. I was like 'okay this is my sport. This is my calling, I know it.'"
Being twins comes with an added benefit. Twins have a connection on and off the field and this connection benefits the duo while on the pitch.
"On the field we do make a lot of good plays. We do have a weird connection. I'll know where she (Donna) is without looking or having to communicate," exclaimed Lorri Pitock.
Going off to college is frightening for some people because this is their first time alone, but not in this case. The Pitocks are attached at the hip and do almost everything together. However, after 18 years of living together, they decided not to live together while at CUW. The Pitocks have a strong bond on the field and a stereotypical twin relationship off the field.
"I really like [going to school together]. I don't have to worry about not having someone with me," explained the freshman forward. "If I have free time, I know that I have someone that I can always talk to. I can always text her and if she is free then we'll hang out. She'll always be there which is nice."
"Off the field is day-to-day. We will argue some days and some days we are best friends and we can talk about anything," added Lorri. "We always have a partner in crime and never have to do anything alone."
It's not every day that twins go to college together, but it's not every day that a coach gets to recruit twins to play for their program. Schoessow has tried to recruit sisters together before, but the Pitocks are her first successful twin recruiting effort.
"It is different because obviously, you want both of them, but you also want, or even have to, recruit each one individually," said Schoessow. "You have to recruit them individually and make sure they know they're unique. We'd still be happy if just one of them came but two is definitely the better package."
This season, Schoessow will be graduating her first-ever recruiting class. She has big plans for the Pitocks, as they are in line to take over the young field hockey program at CUW.
"I know they are going to perform. They are gamers, they work hard, and I know they worked really hard over the summer coming into the season, so I know they're always going to show up and play their best," praised the head coach. "I think they can certainly be all-conference players because of how hard they work. They are game changers for us."
Before committing to CUW, the twins were scoping out schools in New York. Lorri was looking at Sage College, while Donna thought about attending the University of Albany. The Field Hockey team at Concordia was a selling point for the duo, but the sister-to-sister connection was what kept them together.
"When we were looking at colleges, we knew we wanted to stay close to each other because we didn't want to lose that connection. We both really loved coach [Schoessow] and we love the program here," said Donna. "We had a good chat about how we wanted to stay close and how we both really wanted to play. It worked out and it has been perfect."
"Our second option was New York but the distance was too much," added the freshman midfielder. "We love it here. It is nice and small with a beautiful view of the lake. We both found our majors that we wanted, and the dynamic of the team was so fun. We fell in love with it."
Parents usually want their children to attend college nearby. Parents don't want their flock venturing too far from the nest. Luckily for the Pitock parents, their daughters go to school together. No more worrying about traveling thousands of miles to see their two children, missing games, or even the fear of missing one or the other's graduation.
"[Our parents] understood we've been around each other for 18-years of our lives so if we wanted space, they were fine with it," explained Donna. "They love that if they want to visit, they get to see both of us and not have to choose between one week seeing one of us and the next week going to see the other. We didn't know if graduation would be at the same time, but now they don't have to worry about it."
Like their parents, you too can catch these two 'game-changers' at Tomasini Stadium eight different times this season. Donna and Lorri have already started three games for the Falcons and look ahead to their Friday matchup against no. 12 Christopher Newport University at 3 p.m. at home, and again on Saturday as the Falcons face off against Centre College at 1 p.m.