BSM boys’ and girls’ soccer teams are incomplete without four sets of varsity siblings

The Benilde-St. Margaret’s boys’ and girls’ soccer teams are wrapping up successful seasons where four sets of siblings have dominated on the field. These siblings have strong bonds, a key component to success on the field.

The Olson siblings have made tremendous contributions to both teams this season. His second year on the team, junior Morgan Olson has put up an impressive amount of stats including 24 goals and 10 assists. Morgan was a part of the MN United FC Academy soccer team where he took his skills to the next level, now displaying them at the highschool level. Despite Morgan’s busy soccer schedule, he is always looking to cheer on his younger sister. “It is fun being able to support her [Olivia] and go to her games and to watch her get better and better,” Morgan said.

His sister, sophomore Olivia Olson, has a presence like no other in goal. Only allowing two goals past her this season, Olson provides comfort on the field. These two siblings enjoy the advantages of playing the same sport. “I think it’s fun because he cheers me on and I get to cheer him on. I also like getting to train with him or go on runs if we are getting in shape for the season,” Olivia said.

Sometimes things tend to go in the opposite direction for the Olson siblings. With those advantages also come disadvantages. “The only thing is we are so competitive so it gets heated in any game we play, but it helps because we play different positions,” Olivia said.

Senior Mason Gilliand and sophomore Kiya Gilliand, three years apart, dominate the soccer field as key players. Despite their age difference, the Gilliand siblings are rooted in a tight knit relationship on and off the field. When not training with their designated teams, you can find the two training with each other, especially in the summer.

Mason has been on the BSM boys’ soccer team for three years and can be found either playing center or outside midfield. Mason finds there are no disadvantages to having a sister play the same sport and really enjoys training with Kiya as well as watching her play. Mason and Kiya strike a healthy balance in their back and forth banter. “I think both being attackers there is a competition to see who can score more goals during the BSM season. Also when practicing together, there’s always banter if we beat each other 1v1,” Mason said.

Kiya Gilliand has been a part of the girls’ team for three years, using her fast speed and determination to help build a solid record for the “Kittens.” Kiya believes there are way more advantages than disadvantages to having a sibling so close in age play the same sport. “You get to train with them, which pushes you, and you can also talk about what’s happening in soccer,” Kiya said.

You get to train with them, which pushes you, and you can also talk about what’s happening in soccer

— Kiya

Senior Bennett Miller and sophomore Brooklyn Miller have been a steady presence on both teams. Bennett, a three year center defender for the boys’ team and sister Brooklyn, a one year center-mid for the girls’ team, have a competitive yet playful relationship with one another. “Most recently we go back and forth on who has the better team and I say my team is better, and then she says who is ranked higher, and then I say who starts, and so on. It is almost always playful and fun, we are just joking with each other,” Bennett said.

Recently earning a starting spot at defensive center-mid, Brooklyn now has the power to shut down Bennett from making comments about who starts. Brooklyn, a very technical player, displays the power of hard-work and commitment to her team. She uses her brother as a tool to grow and get better, and never sees the competition as a setback. “Some people might think they have a standard to reach because of their siblings, but we are different positions so that doesn’t really happen to me,” Brooklyn said.

The Dietzen siblings, senior captain Elizabeth and sophomore Ben have had a monumental impact on each of their teams. Elizabeth and Ben both made varsity as freshmen, providing them with lots of experience and memories. The siblings often go to Pamela Park to shoot and train; however the minute they start doing 1v1’s, the training session often becomes bitter. Despite this, both Elizabeth and Ben make an effort to be a prominent support system to each other. “It’s fun to go to the boys game and watch your sibling play, and in turn have your sibling come to your game. It gives a built-in fan section,” Elizabeth said.

It’s fun to go to the boys game and watch your sibling play, and in turn have your sibling come to your game. It gives a built-in fan section

— Elizabeth

Forward Ben Dietzen, a two year member of the boys’ team, can allude to the competitive spirit between him and Elizabeth. However, for this sibling duo, the competitiveness can be taken to the next level, ultimately building character and mental toughness for one another. “She always has to one up me and even after I have a good game she always seems to score more goals than me. And in the end, it usually turns toxic and parents have to get involved,” Ben said.

The love for the game from each of these siblings clearly goes beyond how they perform on the field. These duo’s value support, friendship, and determination from one another. They use one another as weapons of accountability. Despite difficulty and frustration when training with their siblings, they all seem to come out stronger, better soccer players who help carry the Red Knights to success. These siblings demonstrate what it means to be close knit and reliable, something that the BSM community embodies.