The city of Philadelphia is commonly referred to as ‘The City of Brotherly Love.’
Yet, next fall, the city will embrace two sisters, as Owen J. Roberts twin seniors Courtney and Corinne Gerber recently signed their National Letters of Intent to continue their field hockey careers at Division I Saint Joseph’s University.
Courtney plans to pursue a degree in early education while Corinne plans to go undeclared.
“We thought it was a perfect fit for us together,” said Corinne, who noted that the twins were a package deal. “The team has been on the rise. Both of us really loved the feel of the campus and the field hockey team.”
“It felt like we were right where we belonged,” added Courtney. “I loved everything about Saint Joe’s.”
The girls were also considering James Madison University early on.
Throughout their search, it never crossed their minds to look at separate schools from one another. Much like they had done all of their lives, they decided college would be best if they experienced it together.
“We’d been going to school together all of our lives, so neither of us wanted that to change,” said Courtney. “We’ve always played better when we’re on the field together. It’s been that way as long as I can remember.”
Having begun their field hockey careers in the sixth grade, Corinne and Courtney, daughters of Tim and Julie Gerber, developed their talents together and often strived to play like one another.
After watching and coaching the Gerber twins since their freshman season, Owen J. Roberts head coach Amy Hoffman took notice of their abilities early on.
“They’ve been playing together for so long and they both know the game so well now that they know where their teammates and each other are going to be,” she said. “They’re able to distribute the ball to those spaces and give us a jump start or finish that we’re looking for.”
Creating and developing relationships with teammates can often be the hardest component of team chemistry. For the Gerber twins, that was never an issue.
“I always know where Corinne is going to be,” said Courtney. “There are a lot of things that we do similarly as players, so we’ve always been able to connect really well.”
The two also provide a motivation for one another to constantly improve. Whether it was on the field or at the kitchen table, the two share a special sisterly bond.
“We’re not afraid to yell at each other every now and then,” laughed Corinne. “It’s something we won’t do to other people, but it comes with being sisters.”
Last spring, after one visit to Saint Joe’s and a meeting with head coach Lynn Farquhar, the girls knew where they’d spend their collegiate careers.
“We talked with Coach Farquhar about what we were looking for in a program,” said Courtney, “and it was exactly what we were looking for. All of the girls and the coaches made us feel like a part of the team right away.”
St. Joe’s is coming off a 9-9 overall record last season, the program’s best mark in six seasons. Farquhar and the Hawks will welcome a dynamic duo in Courtney and Corinne, who were both named to the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s First Team this past season.
In 2015, Corinne scored 23 goals and added 13 assists for Owen J. Roberts. She scored twice in the PAC-10 championship, leading the Wildcats to their first conference title since 2011. She also had a game-winning assist to Natalie Fuertsch in the Wildcats’ 2-1 win in the district playback, sending them to their first state berth since the 2013 season.
Courtney totaled 10 goals and added two assists, splitting time between the midfield and forward positions to help pace the Wildcats to 95 goals scored on the season.
“This past season was unforgettable,” said Courtney. “We had three goals coming into the season — get to districts, win PAC-10’s and make it to states. We accomplished all of them.”
“Neither of us had ever been starters on a team that made it to states,” said Corinne. “So this was a whole new experience for us. We knew it was our last chance to make it (to states); this was our year.”
The pair made their presence felt every time they stepped on the field. Whether it was scoring goals or executing a pass, the Gerber twins constantly made a difference.
“Without either one of them on the field, we struggled,” said Hoffman. “They brought that extra something to every game. I think they’re going to really thrive at the collegiate level and take advantage of every opportunity they have to continue as players.”
Now the Gerber twins undergo a whole new experience, as the two prepare for their collegiate careers.
Just like anything in their lives, they’ll experience it all together.
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