If it looks like the same Columbus North girl is attacking from opposite sides of the soccer field, it isn’t a mirage.
Senior twins Kristen and Corrine Orben are returning starting outside midfielders for the Bull Dogs, who won a regional championship last season. This year, they’re among the leaders of a team that is off to a 3-0 start going into games Wednesday against Bloomington North and Saturday against Columbus East.
“I think it’s been pretty solid,” Corrine said. “We have some new players that we’re just getting used to, but other than that, we’ve had a strong showing, some good finishing, some strong passing and a good back line, which is really helpful.”
In last week’s season opener against Center Grove, both Orbens got in on the scoring act. Kristen scored in the ninth minute, and Corrine added a goal in the 31st minute to give the Bull Dogs a 2-0 lead.
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Those goals held up, and North held on for a 2-1 victory.
“We came out and beat Center Grove, which we knew was going to be a really hard game,” Kristen said. “Coming out and beating them in our first game was a huge deal, so we know what we’re facing in the sectional.”
The addition of a third class in Indiana high school soccer this season and sectional realignments have the Bull Dogs and Trojans in the same sectional. That will be played in October at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex.
North coach Derek Stewart realized the importance of those goals scored by the Orbens.
“It lifted the momentum,” Stewart said. “It lifted the team as a whole to get an early goal for Kristen. Then to get that second goal from Corrine was huge for us. It really set the tone for the game and really for the season.”
While both Orbens are technically sound, they bring some different skill sets. Corrine is left-footed and plays on the left side of the field and in the center midfield, while Kristen is right-footed and plays right outside mid.
Stewart describes Kristen as more of a defensive player, while Corrine is more offensive, but still is a hard defensive tackler. Stewart calls Kristen very skillful, light on her feet and one of the fastest players on the team.
“They’ve very good soccer players, read the game well, are very competitive and just help us play at that higher level,” Stewart said. “They’ve both been around soccer their whole life. They can play multiple positions.”
The Orbens say they have been playing soccer since they were 5 or 6 years old. Their father Chip was president of the Columbus Express Soccer Club for several years and older brother Devon was a high school All-American at North who went on to play at IUPUI and American University.
Following this high school season, Corrine and Kristen plan to play club soccer again with the Alliance, a combination of club players from the Columbus Express, Bloomington and Center Grove. But neither are planning to play college soccer.
“I think it’s been really fun because you always have someone there that you know when you’re joining a new team or starting high school,” Kristen said. “You always have a best friend or a friend there with you, so you’re not always alone. We’ll have club together, but then after that, it will be sad knowing that we’re not going to be playing with each other anymore.”
Kristen wants to major in business with a minor in political science with the intention of going to law school. Corrine wants to study nursing and specialize in pediatrics.
Although they don’t know where they’re going yet, they do not plan to go to the same school. Kristen said that will be a big change because they’ve never have been separated for more than two days at a time.
“It will be different not playing and going to soccer together because we go to soccer together and go to school together,” Corrine said. “It will be a big adjustment, by we’ll do good things by ourselves.”
Columbus East vs. Columbus North soccer
Saturday at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex
2 p.m.: JV boys
4 p.m.: JV girls
6 p.m.: Varsity boys
8 p.m.: Varsity girls