Aldie, Va. — Ann and Juliana Ghally have always played together. Whether it was at John Champe High School or on the Potomac Rapids, Ann would always protect the goal while Juliana tried to score on the other side. After years of playing together, the twins will continue to team up to play field hockey at Eastern Mennonite University starting in the 2019-2020 school year.
“Playing with my sister has been the best experience, and I can’t wait to continue that in college,” Ann said. “Playing different positions has made us encourage each other. If we played the same position we wouldn’t stop fighting on the field to pass the ball.”
“I love playing with my sister. We both enjoy the competition between each other and find it a fulfilling challenge,” Juliana said. “I love ranting to her about our games and sharing what we did great together as a team. She’s the only person that truly understands me and makes me a better player and person on and off the field.”
Eastern Mennonite impressed both of the Ghally sisters. Located in Harrisonburg, Eastern Mennonite is a private, liberal arts college with almost 2,000 students.
“I picked Eastern Mennonite because of their classroom sizes. Each class is about 14 to 16 people per class,” Ann said. Juliana agreed, saying, “Having smaller classes will enable me to develop a one-on-one relationship with my professors.”
For both Ann and Juliana, their experiences playing at John Champe was extremely positive. In the Ghallys three seasons at John Champe, the Knights struggled to get rolling, but earned their first five-win season in 2018.
“My experience playing for John Champe has been great. The past seasons we were off of our game, and we were not winning a lot of games,” Ann said. “As a team, we decided to make ourselves a better player by playing field hockey in the offseason so when it comes to the fall season everyone is prepared and ready to go.”
The twins – who were born in Cairo, Egypt – will need to bring that same determination to Eastern Mennonite in 2018. In 2017, The Division III Royals went 8-11 including a 1-7 record in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
While the Ghally sisters never got a chance to play for a tournament championship in high school, and may never get the chance to play for one in college, it’s the experience playing together that keeps them moving forward.
“This journey with my teammates, along with Ann, is something I look back on with pride,” Juliana said. “It made me both the person and the player I am today.”