Twins' bond benefits Rock Bridge soccer

Friday, April 29, 2011 | 11:45 p.m. CDT
Mary Bowman of Rock Bridge High School passes a fallen opponent against the Troy Buchanan Trojans on Friday, Bowman scored the only Rock Bridge goal in the 2-1 loss.

COLUMBIA — Sarah Bowman taught her sister Mary Bowman how to crawl out of their crib.

Peering through the large keyhole of their old-fashioned home in Zionsville, Ind., their mother, Robin Bowman, watched Sarah Bowman crawl out of her crib and then motion to her fraternal twin, Mary Bowman, to do the same. 

Bruins lose 2-1

The Bruins girls soccer team fell 2-1 to Troy Buchanan Friday night in the first round of the Hickman Tournament. Mary Bowman scored the only goal for Rock Bridge. The Bruins play again Saturday at 9 a.m. at Rock Bridge in the consolation bracket.

Sarah Bowman still gives her sister direction. 

"On the field, we're not afraid to yell at each other because, at the end of the day, we're sisters," Mary Bowman said. "We help the team in that way."

In the first half of Friday's game against Troy Buchanan, the Bruins midfield wasn't dropping back to defense. Defender Sarah Bowman called Sarah Humphrey and Mary Bowman, her twin, to get back. 

"She was getting a little mad and I was like, 'Sarah, calm down,'" Mary Bowman said. 

"She calmed me down," Sarah Bowman said. "It was a twin moment." 

Their mother, Robin Bowman, said that as the two grew up, Sarah was always much bigger than Mary and would take care of her.

Sarah Bowman is nine minutes older and stands a few inches taller than Mary Bowman. But standing side-by-side, each is about as big as a cigarette. 

"I was the older, wiser one," Sarah Bowman said. "But over the years our roles have kind of switched."

Both Bowmans will play college soccer, but will do so almost 1,000 miles apart. Mary Bowman will play for Colorado College in Colorado Spring, Colo., and Sarah Bowman for Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. 

Robin Bowman never refers to her daughters as "the twins," but always as Mary and Sarah.

When the two were in grade school, she made sure they were in different classes so they wouldn't compete. But she decided they should play sports together.

"They've never competed for the same position," Robin Bowman said. "Thank goodness I never had to deal with that."

Mary Bowman has been dedicated to soccer for more than 13 years. She played on the Missouri Olympic Development Program team last January, which advanced to the National Championship in Phoenix and lost to Colorado.

"Mary loves this game. It's a big part of her identity," her father, Frank Bowman, said. 

While Mary Bowman never took her eyes off the soccer field, Sarah Bowman flirted with other extra-curricular activities. 

"Soccer was kind of Mary's sport. I just tried to find my own thing," Sarah Bowman said. "I tried tennis." 

"Which she was really good at," Mary Bowman added.

Sarah Bowman made the the varsity roster her freshman year, and was the alternate when the team lost at the state championship. 

"But it was kind of boring," Sarah Bowman said.

She ran cross-country junior year and competed in the state meet. Running also bored her.

"I just like soccer too much that I couldn't let it go," Sarah Bowman said. 

Their indecisiveness comes to each on their own.

Sarah Bowman traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, with her father, Frank Bowman, during the summer of 2009. Frank Bowman's brother was a legal attache at the U.S. Embassy. 

After traveling with orphans through the slums of Kenya and visiting the prison which held Somali pirates, Sarah Bowman knew she wanted to study international relations. 

Mary Bowman has no idea what she plans on studying.

"I guess I could give you a long list of things I won't want to do," Mary Bowman said. 

Mary and Sarah Bowman shared a room until they moved to Columbia in the seventh grade. They have never lived more than a few feet apart, and Mary Bowman wonders what life without her twin will be like.

"It's exciting to see what it'll be like growing up on my own," Mary Bowman said. "Seeing who I am without Sarah will be interesting."

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