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Harbison sisters team up for Westview

12/21/2012, 5:07pm PST
By Glae Thien, Special to the U-T

At the Harbison dinner table, while soccer isn’t a conversation staple, it occasionally adds spice to the discussion.

Sisters Meagan Harbison (left to right), Kaelyn Harbison and Hailey Harbison help anchor the Westview girls soccer team.

What could bring Westview High senior Kaelyn Harbison back to girls soccer after a two-year absence to concentrate on cross country and track?

“I want to get the triathlete award (at school),” she said. “A bonus is playing with my sisters.”

Yes, two sisters.

Her twin, Meagan, helps anchors the Wolverines defense, and her junior sibling, Hailey, holds the Westview season scoring record. For her part, Kaelyn does what she can to help in her return.

Together, the Harbison sisters contribute to a perennial power that has produced four San Diego Section championship teams in the last six years.

“It’s fun seeing how they interact,” said Westview coach Peter Stogsdill, whose team is off to a 5-1-1 start this season. “Also, it shows how much talent is in the family.”

This is the first time the three sisters have played on the same team. Because of different soccer clubs and Kaelyn’s hiatus, they were apart until this last chance to unite this season.

At the Harbison dinner table, while soccer isn’t a conversation staple, it occasionally adds spice to the discussion.

“We talk about it, but not all the time,” Meagan said. “Soccer has been a very important part of our lives since we were four.”

The sisters were directed to soccer through their father, Paul, a onetime multisport athlete with much interest in the game. They inherited their athletic genes from him and their mother, Linda, a former track and field runner.

Kaelyn, who followed her mother’s footsteps into running, has turned the 800-meter race into her signature event with a personal record of 2:17.40 set in her sophomore year.

In cheering for her sisters over their previous two varsity seasons, Kaelyn has also been in good position to judge their soccer skills.

Up front is Hailey, a forward, who earned all-section second-team honors as a sophomore by scoring 20 goals for the Westview school record while adding four assists.

“Hailey’s really quick,” Kaelyn said. “She has good skills and technical play with the ball.”

Now Hailey has set her sights on breaking her own school mark this season.

“I’m good at soccer, and it’s always fun to be good at something,” Hailey said. “I just can’t imagine not playing it. I just love it, and I love scoring.”

Meagan also demonstrated a scoring touch with eight goals and two assists last season. Yet her forte for the Wolverines has been defense. This season, she’s at the pivotal sweeper spot.

“She has really good touch on the ball,” Kaelyn said. “She’s really strong, too. If there’s a 50-50 ball, then she’ll get it.”

With her overall athletic ability, Meagan has shifted positions in accordance with team needs. Still, whatever the case, she takes much the same approach.

“It’s a team sport, and I really like that because as much as you want to do good for yourself you want to try for your team, too,” Meagan said. “You don’t want to let anyone down.”

Meagan committed to Pepperdine for college soccer, and Hailey followed suit in part to be with her sister, she noted.

“Thanks,” Meagan responded, “I’m feeling the love.”

Love of soccer, love of family for Westview’s Harbison sisters.

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