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Sister to Sister Times Three

On the W.T. Woodson girls' lacrosse game, scoring and stopping goals is a tri-family affair.

After W.T. Woodson sophomore attacker Elena Obregon scores a goal, her first order of business is to touch sticks with whoever assisted her— a lacrosse player's "thank you" for the pass.

More often than not, the person on the receiving end of that stick tap is her older sister, senior Rachel Obregon.

"Sister to sister!" teammates yell after the duo combines for a goal.

"It's a mind thing," Elena Obregon said. "We always know where we are on the field. I just love how we set each other up."

At faceoff dot, senior Michelle Montgomery celebrates with the midfielders and freshman Devon Montgomery cheers from the sidelines while taking mental notes on her sisters' play.

Behind the play and between the pipes, first-year goalie Victoria Vinall meets with her defenders for a quick chat. One of those defenders is her sister, junior Melissa Vinall.

Souped-up by sister-power, the Cavaliers won their first-ever Patriot District girls' lacrosse title on May 14 in a 14-12 thriller over district front-runner Annandale.

The game featured many sister-to-sister stick taps.

The score sheet is littered with goals from the Obregons, assists from the Montgomerys and critical saves from the defensive-minded Vinalls.

The Obregons alone accounted for half of the Cavaliers' goals (three for Elena, four for Rachel).

"It [was] so amazing," Melissa Vinall said. "We were supposed to be the underdogs."

For the three families, there's more to the district title than adding another plaque to the school's ever-expanding trophy case.

All three sister sets have played lacrosse through the youth levels, and the beginning of the playoff season signals the beginning of the end of their tag-teams.

Two of the three family sets will be separated by graduation next year.

With limited time to play together, Elena Obregon said she's taken time to learn as much as she can from her older sister.

"She's taught me a lot of my skills: how to place my shots, how to fake, stuff like that,” she said. “It's going to be hard without her next year."

Freshman Devon Montgomery spent a fair amount of time watching the Patriot District finals from the sideline, but she also kept an eye on her sister Michelle Montgomery's play.

"I'd be jealous of her because she'd be running down the field and I'd say 'I'm not that good yet,' Devon Montgomery said. "[But] she's taught me to be more aggressive."

Michelle Montgomery said she's "leaving the team in good hands" with her sister. As one of the senior leaders, she has had a hand in her sister’s lacrosse development.

"It's been so much fun watching her grow," she said. "It's insane to think about how great she's going to be. She can already play with all of us. It's just such a blessing [to have played with her]."

The remaining sister duo, the Vinalls, still have at least two more seasons on varsity together. Given that the Vinalls consist of the team's starting goalie and starting defender, it's a good foundation for the team to build on next season.

The Vinalls also have endured a trial by fire together as Victoria transitioned from defense to goalie.

"I wasn't that good [at goalie] at first, and it was scary and made me nervous," Victoria Vinall said. "Having [Melissa] on defense helped me so much, I feel so much more comfortable."

Sensing her sister needed help in net, Melissa Vinall said the two held shooting practices together to try to bolster the new goalie’s confidence. Victoria Vinall appreciated the help, but she said a defender's shot isn't exactly the same as an attackers.

"She's not a very good shooter," Victoria Vinall said jokingly.

While Victoria Vinall was getting used to a new position, Melissa Vinall said the move also helped her better understand her role as a defender.

"She teaches me a lot of tricks from a goalkeeper’s point of view," Melissa Vinall said.