Sisters win same award, compete against each other in NAIA

Sisters win same award, compete against each other in NAIA

(Christine Houghton)

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — A Saratoga Springs mother had mixed emotions Sunday while cheering for two daughters playing against each other in a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics soccer game.

Christine Houghton said her daughters, 20-year-old Ali Houghton and 18-year-old Brittany Houghton, have both been playing soccer since they were 3 years old. They began playing competitively when they were both 10 years old and continued through high school. Houghton said her daughters attended different high schools, but only competed against each other once prior to Sunday’s game.

Now both women play college soccer with Ali at Soka University and Brittany at the College of Idaho. The schools belong to different conferences, but Houghton said when Brittany signed with the College of Idaho and her coach found out that her sister also played college soccer, he lined up a preseason game so she and Ali could play against each other.

“There is definitely a rivalry,” Houghton said of her daughters. “They both want to win. (It would give) bragging rights for sure. It’s great that they are both keepers so they never have to actually physically meet on the field, but they still get to play against each other which is ideal. It might keep the peace.”

The women were awarded the Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for their respective conferences on Sept. 7. Houghton said it was rare that her daughter’s received the same award on the same day, six days before they competed against each other.

“I think it’s just so fun,” she said. “What family gets to watch two kids in college in a game? I’m just so impressed and proud that they’ve gotten to this level. I think it’s rare.”

The Houghton family traveled to Alisa Viejo, California, to watch the women play at Soka University on Sunday. Houghton said she bought T-shirts from each college, cut them in half and sewed the different halves together so the family could show support for each of the women.


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