This girls soccer season at St. Pius X will be a special one for the Matula family.
Sisters Macy and Margo Matula will be on the same field this year at the TAPPS private school, playing as teammates.
Junior Macy will graduate early next winter, leaving freshman Margo to hold down the fort at the prep level for three more seasons.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
"A bunch of people say we look and play alike," the older Macy laughs. "I don't see it, though. She's a blonde and plays defense."
On the field, St. Pius X is going to be much- improved with the arrival of a new coach and the decorated freshman.
"We have a great relationship," Margo says. "But we are siblings. Sometimes we are yelling at each other and part ways, but mostly we are really close and talk about everything."
While the sisters will have one year of high school ball, they will reunite at Texas A&M, as both have committed to the Aggies women's soccer team.
"We visited a few college campuses and fell in love with the people at Texas A&M," Macy said. "The coaches have great relationships with their players, and the support staff is amazing. It's a big family. My parents, who went to the University of Texas, helped me a lot with my college decision."
The pair committed in 2018 after Macy's freshman year. Margo was entering the eighth grade.
Macy led the way to the pitch.
"We played everything from basketball, flag football to volleyball," Macy said. "We did gymnastics and ballet. I was just better
at soccer and I started to like it more, of course. I was a lefty, which is sort of rare and coaches needed that position. I'm also not that coordinated with my hands, so soccer works for me.
"From there, Margo just followed me," she said.
"We played for the YMCA and then club," Margo added. "We then started playing with the Albion Hurricanes. It was all about fun. If I didn't like my coaches or teammates when I started, I wouldn't be in the sport. If it wasn't fun, I would have had to quit."
With their college decisions out of the way, the Matulas are now focused on getting St. Pius X soccer back on the map.
"I'm looking forward to the season," Margo said entering her freshman year. "Don't get me wrong, I want to win and for everyone to try their best, but I also want to build relationships and have fun."
"I love it here," Macy said. "I'm not really super- outgoing. I love being at a place where I know everyone and build close friendships. That's what it's all about, right?
"It's also a place where teachers and the administration are genuinely pulling for you."
HOUSTON - Ed Shone's first season leading St. Pius X girls soccer has started off exceptionally well.
Through the Panthers' first eight games, the ladies have posted a 7-1 mark overall, including victories against Frassati Catholic (7-0), Incarnate Word Academy (4-0) and Kelly Catholic (3-2), outscoring opponents 33-12.
"It's all on the girls really," Shone said. "I just try to put them in a position for them to do what they do. They've been a very committed and very easy group to work with to start with. They've come in and just tried to do what we've asked them ... Winning is obviously not the be all end all, I don't like losing games but at the same time it's about putting them in a position to do what we think they can do."
The hot start has taken the entire starting 11 and the eventual 17 or 18 that will get playing time but the high number of goals can be attributed to the talents of Texas A&M-commits Macy and Margo Matula.
So far, of the 25 goals St. Pius X has recorded in their stats, 14 have come from the Matula's - who had four of the seven goals in the season opener against Frassati Catholic - with older sister Macy leading the team with eight, while freshman Margo has six.
"Anytime you have anybody of that ability on your team it always helps," Shone said. "We're lucky. Not only are they good, talented athletes but also good kids ... Margo plays centerback, she has come in as a freshman and hasn't missed a beat and has been standout so far. It allows Macy to go do what she wants going forward."
Outside of the scoring, keeping the other team off the board is just as important. That's where Lora Tresco comes in.
The junior has been solid back in goal, posting four shutouts, and averaging 1.5 goals against per match through the opening eight of the season.
"Anytime you have a goalkeeper that can bail you out making saves but also is comfortable with the ball at her feet," Shone said. "It just gets us out of a lot of situations to be able to get it to Lora and relieve some pressure."
Sophomore Makenna Capitaine, who's main sport is lacrosse, has become big on the field for St. Pius X, Shone said when it comes to winning the ball back and being disruptive in the midfield.
Capitaine isn't the only player that soccer isn't their main sports, Shone said as some of them are big in lacrosse and even horse riding but they also prove to be big on the field as well to help win seven of their first eight matches.
"It's been a real collective group effort," Shone said. "It's down to them. I'm fortunate enough to stand there and give them a few pointers here and there. So far, so good."