Carvalho, Wisocky still teammates after all these years
By Jim Fenton The Enterprise (Sept. 30, 2009)
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- They had been soccer teammates and close friends since playing for a youth travel squad at the age of 10.
Brockton residents Yasmina Carvalho and Jacklyn Wisocky had experienced a lot together through the years, but what happened on Oct. 9, 2006 was something completely different.
On that afternoon, Carvalho and Wisocky - teammates in youth soccer and for three years at Brockton High School - were opponents.
They were on opposite sides when Carvalho, who was a freshman at Bridgewater State College, faced Wisocky, who was in her first year at Fitchburg State College.
"That,'' said Wisocky, "was probably the toughest game I think I've ever played. I hate playing against my best friends. But sometimes you've got to do it, I guess.''
Said Carvalho: "When I look back at it, I couldn't believe it. It was really weird playing against her.''
Carvalho and the Bears scored a 4-1 victory over Wisocky and the Falcons that day, but it turned out to be the only time the two close friends would be opponents.
After her first semester at Fitchburg State, Wisocky decided to transfer to BSC in order to be close to home, and she once again became a teammate of Carvalho beginning with the 2007 season.
Wisocky, a midfielder, and Carvalho, a defender, are closing out their careers together this fall as senior captains at BSC.
They have played countless soccer games together over the past decade and that has come in handy while teammates at the collegiate level.
"We are really familiar with how we play,'' said Carvalho, who netted her first career goal last week against Rhode Island College. "I know exactly what she is going to do. We've played together for so long. She makes that outside run and I get it to her every time I have the ball.''
The familiarity has grown since they were 10-year-olds playing on a Brockton-based travel team. They were both All-Big Three selections while at Brockton High and have been key members of the BSC program.
"I know exactly where she's going, and I think she knows exactly where I'm going because we've played together for so long,'' said Wisocky, who has nine goals and seven assists in two-plus seasons with the Bears. "It makes it a lot easier, knowing which side she's going to turn to, and I think she knows where I'm going to run and how fast I run and where to put the ball.
"It definitely makes it a lot easier because we know what each other is doing.''
Coach Andrea Zeigler-O'Connor has watched Carvalho and Wisocky click time and again since they were reunited as teammates as sophomores in '07.
"That definitely is a key to their communication on the field, being together for so long,'' said Zeigler-O'Connor. "The are best of friends and they bring such a positive attitude and energy together.''
Carvalho, who also played basketball at Brockton High, appeared in 11 games and started one as a freshman when she adjusted to college soccer.
After that, she became a mainstay of the Bears' defense, getting better each season.
"I knew when she came in as a freshman that she had leadership qualities,'' said Zeigler-O'Connor. "She's been everything that I thought she would be. What she doesn't have in speed, she makes up for in skill and composure. She mans our defensive line, she's very verbal, and she's like a quarterback.''
Wisocky, who had six goals and five assists in 19 games as a Fitchburg State freshman, caught the eye of the Bears during his lone season with the Falcons, who were 13-5-1.
"My husband (Mike O'Connor) went up to scout them before we played them that year,'' said Zeigler-O'Connor. "He came back and said that the only player we really have to worry about is No. 14 (Wisocky).
"Her strengths are her speed and she's such a force creating and attacking with the ball. She's such a threat. It's hard to mark her.''
Carvalho and Wisocky, 2006 graduates of Brockton High, have come a long way together since traveling around in youth soccer.
They are team leaders at BSC, finishing up solid collegiate careers as teammates and captains.
"It's nice playing with her again,'' said Wisocky. "I love being closer to home and playing with Yas.
"She's gotten a lot better. She's awesome in the air. She's always been good in the air, but she really excels in the air now. It's awesome to watch her grow and become a better soccer player through all the years that we've known each other.
"It was definitely a relief to come here and not have to play against her. I think it was a relief for her, too, because she hated playing against me. I'm so glad I came to Bridgewater State. I'm an elementary education major and this is a very good school to graduate with that major, so actually it worked out perfectly between that and playing with Yas again.''
For Carvalho, being reunited with Wisocky for three collegiate seasons will go down as the perfect way to end their long run as soccer teammates.
"It was a definitely a good highlight when she came her,'' said Carvalho. "She's come very, very far, especially with her moves. She has great footwork now. She can possess the ball really well.
"It's exciting. You never thought you'd be playing with someone for so long. It's like we've experienced it all together.''