Twin sisters lead Belfast quest for regional field hockey title

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff
Posted Oct. 24, 2011, at 4:52 p.m.

Kristi Osgood does her part to help her coach, Belfast High School field hockey coach Allen Holmes, differentiate between her and twin sister Kari.

“Kristi usually wears a shirt with her name on it. But he still calls her Kari,” chuckled Kristi Osgood.

“He stills gets them mixed up, you know. The teachers do, too,” quipped Bruce Osgood, the twins’ father.

Holmes may confuse them but he loves having them on his team.

The Osgoods have helped lead the Lions to their first Eastern Maine Class B championship game appearance since 2006.

Belfast, 12-1-3 and the third seed, will take on defending state champ Nokomis of Newport, 15-0-1, in Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. title game at Hampden Academy.

The Class C EM final will kick off the three-game day with top seed Dexter, 15-1, meeting No. 2 Winthrop, 12-2-2, at 3:30 p.m. and that will be followed by the Class A game between No. 1 Skowhegan, 16-0 and the defending state champ, and No. 2 Messalonskee of Oakland, 13-2-1.

Skowhegan has won nine of the last 10 state championships and Messalonskee’s only two losses this season came at the hands of the Indians.

Holmes has nothing but good things to say about the twins.

“They have contributed a lot to the scoring and the assist part of our game,” he said. “But they add more than that. They’re very friendly and want to get along with everybody. The other players have taken their lead and that has helped us create a good chemistry.

“They’re the first ones to practice and the last ones to leave. And when they aren’t in the game, they’re encouraging everybody on the bench to keep an eye on what is happening and to recognize when one of their teammates makes a good play,” Holmes added.

“We just love watching the game and playing the game,” said Kari Osgood, who is one minute younger than Kristi.

The two began playing the sport when they were 5 as they followed in the footsteps of sister Katie, who is four years older than them.

Kari said Katie was a major influence.

“We would wonder what she was doing with her stick,” said Kari. “She taught us a lot.”

Kristi added, “We really wanted to play (because of Katie).”

Their father works at the Belfast YMCA where Holmes had the sisters in his field hockey program.

“They have been in the youth program since they were 5 and they’ve been in it ever since,” said Holmes who pointed out that the twins now help coach youth field hockey teams.

The Osgoods, who are 17, play on the front line and are on the same side of the field.

Kari is the right inner and her sister is the right wing. They are two of the team’s top scorers.

And they seem to have a sixth sense when they’re on the field, which paid off when Kari fed Kristi for the game-winning goal with 1:58 left in regulation in Saturday’s 2-1 win over second seed John Bapst of Bangor.

“We don’t even have to look up to know where each other is at all times,” said Kristi.

The girls have developed that chemistry thanks to endless practice.

“We go up to the field and pass the ball and tip it and all that stuff,” said Kristi.

“We do what we can to get ready for the season,” said Kari.

The interesting aspect of the game-winning goal against John Bapst was it involved a bit of role reversal.

“Kari can hit the ball. She’s our designated shooter (on penalty corners). Kristi is more of an assist person. But it was the other way around against Bapst,” said Holmes.

“It was funny how it worked out,” said Kristi.

Kristi Osgood conceded that she is more of a playmaker than shooter.

“lf I see someone open, I’ll just pass it,” said Kristi. “But I’d rather just win than score or assist or anything.”

Kari said she would rather shoot “sometimes.

“But it depends on the situation,” she added.

Bruce Osgood said the twins he and his wife Laurie raised are “both alike and different.

“They have a lot of the same friends and they hang out a lot with them. But they have their own identities. Kristi is a little more outgoing,” said Bruce. “They’ve always played field hockey together, which is cool.”

Kari added, “I’m more outspoken.”

The close-knit twins, who don’t play any other sports, are excited to be playing for an Eastern Maine title in their senior years.

“It’s the best,” said Kari.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/10/24/sports/twin-sisters-lead-belfast-quest-for-regional-field-hockey-title/ printed on November 27, 2014