As the sport of women’s hockey continues to grow, so too does the opportunity for sisters to compete together. Stefanie and Julia Marty are twins that play together on the Swiss women’s national team, helping their country capture the bronze medal at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Burlington, Vt.
They comprise one of many pairs of sensational sisters that have competed internationally. The United States has the Lamoureux sisters, Jocelyne and Monique, competing at this year’s women’s worlds, while Canada has had the Bram sisters, Bailey and Shelby, both participate at the 2012 Meco Cup. The elder Bram, Bailey, is also playing for Canada’s National Women’s Team at this year’s world championship in Ottawa.
Like many players from Europe, the Marty sisters have enjoyed the opportunity to compete at the NCAA Division 1 level in the United States. Stefanie competed for one season with the University of New Hampshire Wildcats, and then played three seasons with the Syracuse University Orange in New York State.
”I loved it at Syracuse. It allowed me to do sport and education as professionally as possible,” Stefanie said. “For now, it is hard to have it in Switzerland. I enjoyed every second of it.”
Julia would play with fellow Swiss player Florence Schelling for the Northeastern University Huskies in Boston. “For sure it was great to play with her. I had known Florence from before. It was great to have her in net. She is a big influence and makes life easier for the team,” she said.
During their time in the NCAA, the Marty sisters only played each other once. “It was in our senior years. Syracuse played Northeastern and we tied the game,” Stefanie said. R
Regarding the match, Julia added, “It is not the same as every other game. It was a cool experience.”
Prior to the beginning of the game, there was an opportunity for humour between the sisters. “It was funnier at the beginning. We faced off against each other, and people were like ‘What is going on?’ ”
Of note, the two had the opportunity to represent Switzerland at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.
“We enjoyed the experience and the whole atmosphere,” Stefanie said.
“We play together on the team and do everything to help each other out. We know each other better than any other on the team. We played together our whole lives except for the college years,” she added.
Since their collegiate careers in the NCAA have come to an end, the Marty sisters are back playing in Switzerland
“Currently we play together on SC Reinach in Switzerland. We also play with ECH Aarau, a boys’ team,” Julia said. “They treat us like every other player on the team. The opponents play us like any other opponent.”
In their illustrious careers, the highlight was being part of the bronze medal winning team at last year’s women’s world in Burlington, a historic first for the Swiss.
“Since we started, it has been kind of a dream for us to win a medal at a big tournament,” Stefanie said. “Every year, we would get one step closer. The reality that we could do it (in 2012) was a huge accomplishment.”
Heading into this year’s women’s worlds in Ottawa, the sisters were eager to prove that the Swiss are worthy of their success.
“We want to prove that the bronze medal was not just luck,” Stefanie said.
“It is a great experience to be part of that team,” Julia said. “Now, we want to prove that we belong among the top four in the world.”