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On the Same Page
Theyre not the first pair of best friends to captain the South Kitsap soccer team and most likely wont be the last.
Theyre not even close to being the first duo to forge a lasting friendship after first meeting each other on opposite sides of a Port Orchard soccer field, and they wont the last to do so.
But what does make Erin Carpenter and Santerra Holler stand apart in the long line of South soccer duos is the fact they that their friendship is so genuine for such a distinctly different pair of individuals.
Were best friends, and we fight all the time, Holler said. Were like sisters.
They are sisters, or mother-daughter in some cases, Carpenter says, who come from different backgrounds, have different visions of what their futures may hold but share a bond that really makes them seem like family.
Its a family that comfortably shares a laugh together, works hard to make their soccer team better and even lets a little jealousy slip in when one has a boyfriend and the other doesnt.
And its a family that isnt afraid to share a little gossip about each other.
She complains a lot. Its amazing, Holler says of Carpenter. About everything why the sky is blue, shell complain about why it cant be pink. Shes a complainer.
But Carpenter is quick to counter.
She says she doesnt like to have her picture taken, but she really does, Carpenter said. She likes it. She likes being in the spotlight.
Both have found their way into the spotlight recently by scoring the teams first two goals of the year, in a 4-0 season-opening win over Stadium. And after securing a tie with Gig Harbor Thursday night, they have the Wolves off to a 2-0-2 start.
But their off-field, on-field relationship has been working in many different directions, starting last summer.
The pair took it upon themselves to organize practices and put together a team to play indoors, making dozens of phone calls each week to make sure everyone was going to participate.
That gave the core group that makes up this years South Kitsap squad a head start of sorts. Theyre also the ones who sorted out the frustration of Tuesdays scoreless tie with Central Kitsap, talking with the team on the back of the bus immediately after the game.
Carpenter said she and Holler, along with fellow captain Cassie Brown, were making sure they focused on why they were so upset at tying CK, then moved to the positive things they accomplished in that game before putting it behind them and enjoying the fact they didnt lose the game.
Theyre both very worthy captains, South coach Eric Bergeson said. Theyre both intelligent. Erin is strong-willed; Terra is also, shes strong-willed and -minded but much more easygoing in demeanor.
Erin wants to win shes determined, shes focused and she can put up with a lot, Bergeson said. She doesnt mind the coaching, she doesnt mind the yelling, she doesnt mind the running but she does mind when her team lets up. They both mind, tremendously, when our team doesnt achieve its goals.
And this pair has been working hard to make sure those goals are met, once again by working together.
On the field, especially on corner kicks, they say, there is some kind of magic. During their years playing for FC Kitsap teams, they would score almost at will on corner kicks, with Holler somehow finding Carpenter with a perfect pass that seemed to always find the back of the net.
Its the weirdest thing, Holler said. We can find each other on the field, we know how each other runs and passes.
We think the same, Carpenter said. Its almost like I can hear her in my head.
Both Carpenter, a senior midfielder, and Holler, a senior defender, have been putting in the work necessary both on and off the field. Carpenter carries a 3.9 GPA, is a member of the SK athletic medicine team and will pursue a degree in some kind of medical field.
Holler is a 3.4 GPA student who balances classroom work with year-round sports.
Carpenters athletic career will come to an end at the same time the Wolves soccer season finishes, while Holler will go on to play indoor and club soccer and hopes to play in college.
Her coach is happy to hear that.
Shes a player, Bergeson said. And shes only going to get better. With year-round training and quality coaching, all of it, shes just going to get better. She has the tools and she has the understanding of the game and the touch.
And dont be surprised to see the pair as roommates at Colorado State or San Diego State next year. Carpenter wants to attend school outside of Washington and Holler is looking to do the same.
Im applying to all the schools that she is, said Holler, who plans to study business. Wed like to go to the same school together.
It seems the pair will extend this friendship beyond Port Orchard.
I think they have a genuine love for each other. I think they really care about each other, Bergeson said. They have a lot in common and they both take a great deal of pride in the things that they do academically and athletically. I think they push each other. And thats great.