“Go hard or go home. You have to leave it all out there on the field.” That’s the guiding ideal of Reilyn and Blake Turner, 14- and 15-year-old sisters, playing on the same team together for the first time for the Laguna Beach High School soccer squad.
Their motto is paying off as the Breakers girls’ soccer team captured its third league title ever this past Monday, Feb. 6, sweeping their Orange Coast League competitor Costa Mesa 9-0 this week. The team heads to a CIF playoff contest next Wednesday in a single elimination tournament.
Their skills for having “a nose for the goal and scoring together has a chemistry,” said their mother, Felicia Turner, 38, who played college soccer at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
The two share something like a sixth sense. “It seems like she’s right there when I pass it and if she isn’t, she’ll be there,” explained Blake this week from Cambridge, where she was touring Harvard, checking out colleges. The high achieving junior with a 4.38 GPA aims to enroll in an Ivy League school.
The sisters’ mother studied fine arts at UNLV and there met her future husband, student Nate Turner, who went on play professional football for the Chargers and New Orleans Saints. Turner, 38, currently coaches football at Taft High School in Woodland Hills.
Mr. Turner takes pride in watching his girls on the field together. He thinks their success on the pitch and aggressive competitive playing style is owed to a combination of their mother’s hard-driving approach and his tenacity.
Yet he marvels at the sisters’ relaxed attitude about their success, which includes an MVP award for Blake. “I would be dancing in the end zone if I made the goals they do,” the girls’ father said in a phone interview. So blasé is Blake, she couldn’t recall how many goals figured in the award. “Oh, I don’t know,” she said.
“I’m a big fan,” her father said. “We have a secret handshake and I call out from the stands each time they make a goal.”
The Turner sisters started dribbling and heading soccer balls competitively from the age of 3 and 4 on different American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) teams. Blake went on to join the Southern California Blues Club and Reilyn the Elite Clubs National League. The sisters teamed up for the first time in November.
Blake, older by 18 months, won the MVP for most goals scored by her Breaker team last year. Reilyn was invited to the U.S. Soccer Federation’s national team camp last year.
“Both are straight A students with their options wide open,” their mother said. Blake’s favorite class is science and she would like to pursue something in the medical field. Reilyn enjoys Spanish and ceramics and says she has not thought too much about a career.
The sisters grew up between Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach where their grandmother started the swimwear shop Merrilees in 1977. This past summer, the pair worked at the shop for spending money. And while they often wear clothes from the family owned business, the only garment they share are socks when the supply of clean ones run out, said Reilyn.