Senior cousins Karley Dougherty and Reilly Dougherty will square off at 7 tonight when Manchester hosts Firestone in a girls soccer match.
It will be the first time the girls will compete against each other in an organized event in uniforms with referees and a scoreboard since they played opposite one another in a Catholic Youth Organization middle school basketball.
“I am really excited to play against her,” Karley said. “Some of my friends played her in indoor [soccer], and they said she is good and competitive. I am very competitive too. I am looking forward to this match.”
Karley and Reilly played with and against each other during family picnics throughout their childhood, but tonight will be different with a victory on the line.
Both girls are 17 years old, have 3.7 grade-point averages and obtained their love of sports from their parents and families.
“She plays hard and I play hard too,” Reilly said. “Neither of us plays dirty. We respect each other as people and we respect each other’s abilities.”
Karley is the youngest of seven children and is a 5-foot-7 starting midfielder for the Panthers (4-0-0). Her siblings (Kevin, 34, Carolyn, 31, Colleen, 28, Chris, 25, Craig, 21 and Kyle, 20) all played sports at Manchester, and three of them competed in college.
“I actually like being the youngest child because it made me more competitive,” Karley said. “Playing against my older brothers made me tougher and better.”
Reilly is the youngest of three children and is a 5-foot-9 starting forward for the Falcons (1-1-1). Her siblings Catey, 29, and Eamon, 19, graduated from Archbishop Hoban and Firestone, respectively, and are not as active with sports.
“I always looked up to Karley and her siblings as far as athletics,” Reilly said. “It will be fun to play against her. Whenever we see each other we talk about sports and have a good time.”
Reilly was named the City Series Player of the Year last year and was a Division I all-district selection with 17 goals. She has five goals this year, her fourth on Firestone’s varsity soccer team and currently holds a scholarship offer from St. Bonaventure University. Other colleges are showing interest in her, too.
Karley has found success in three sports, and her basketball abilities are garnering interest from Walsh University, Lake Erie College and Malone University. She enters this school year with three letters in soccer, three letters in basketball and two letters in track and field as a sprinter. She is a captain in soccer and basketball, and earned the Defensive Most Valuable Player of the Year honor as a junior and averaged 12 points per game.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at https://ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.