One of the best parts of sports is that they can be a family event. Parents and siblings come out to games to watch family members participate.
In the Nashleanas family, participation in sports runs two-fold. Senior Steve and freshman Laren are both starters for the backline of the WIAC championship-winning soccer teams.
While some people follow their parents’ footsteps into a certain sport, Steve and Laren are different.
“Our parents didn’t play,” Laren said. “It was something my brother and I picked up at a young age.”
The brother and sister duo each start in the backline for their teams.
Steve graduated from Brookfield East High School in 2007, and was a dual-sport athlete there.
Before deciding on a college to attend, he had to decide which sport to pursue.
“I played basketball as well as soccer in high school,” Steve said. “I just like the game of soccer. It’s fun to play and has a fun atmosphere.”
After battling some injuries early in his career, Steve became an all-conference player in 2009.
“I think the last couple years have been really good,” Steve said. “The team has had great chemistry and it has been a lot of fun. It has been better than I could have hoped for and it has been a great experience.”
Steve has totaled two goals and an assist during his senior year for the Warhawks (12-2-3).
Laren graduated from Brookfield East High School in 2010, and was a three-sport athlete there. During the recruiting process, Laren realized that playing soccer at UW-Whitewater was right for her.
“There was a lot I liked about UW-Whitewater,” Laren said. “I liked the girls I met on the team, I liked the coach, and I liked the season of the sport. I just felt it was a really good opportunity for me.”
Steve didn’t push UW-Whitewater onto Laren, but in the end it turned out to be the right place for her.
“I definitely didn’t tell her she had to come here,” Steve said. “It was something she had to figure out on her own. I told her UW-Whitewater had a strong tradition and fielded good teams. Everything just ended up falling into place and she ended up coming to UW-Whitewater.”
Laren has started 17 games on defense for the Warhawk women’s soccer team this season. She has three goals and five assists in her freshman year, which is a little bit to her surprise.
“I made the decision to come here late,” Laren said. “I knew it would be fun, but I didn’t expect to play as much as I have been.”
With three years of eligibility left after this season, Laren wants to build on the strong start to her career.
“Some goals for myself are to keep getting better, and keep getting playing time,” Laren said. “Our team has high goals after the success we have had this year and hope to continue to build on it for the future.”
It is rare to find a brother-sister duo having the collegiate success the Nashleanas’ are having.
“I’ve never really thought about it, but it is pretty cool,” Steve said. “To have two siblings each playing at an institution like this, it’s a pretty unique situation.”