NORWALK — Kyle Seaburg has been around long enough to know that one strong, skilled center midfielder can dominate a field hockey game.
When he realized he had two, he switched his offense to make the best of it.
That’s how twin sisters Frances and Jackie Mirabile became the starting center midfielders for the Norwalk High field hockey team.
Going to a four-player midfield set — with the Mirabiles in the middle, side by side — the twins have played a key role in Norwalk’s 13-2 record as the Bears head into their final regular-season game against Fairfield Ludlowe on Wednesday.
“You could tell they had a passion right away,” Seaburg said. “They were disciplined and they just became sponges. There is a twin thing. It’s something we talk about before games, the two of them working together. We switched to a four-mid system and it’s worked really well because of them.”
The Mirabiles are fraternal twins, so outside of their love for the sport they play, the two have plenty of differences.
Frances is older by a minute. She’s a right-handed player with lighter hair and a different blood type than her sister’s.
Jackie is left-handed and thinks she has a better sense of humor than her sister.
On the field, though, the twins work together as if they’ve been side by side their entire lives … which, of course, they have been.
“Some people say we have twin telepathy,” Jackie Mirabile said. “We might. I don’t know. I just think we click well.”
Seaburg said the two are just different enough to fill in the gaps for what the Bears need the most.
“They’re different, but there are similarities,” the coach said. “Each one has that something that complements each other and complements the team, from their personalities to both being very caring about their teammates.”
Both are outstanding leaders, along with their third tri-captain Victoria Chiapetta.
On the field, Seaburg said, Jackie Mirabile creates havoc for opposing teams while Frances just creates.
“Jackie is the one in front of the goalie and creating havoc. We call her the nemesis for goalies,” Seaburg said. “Frances creates. She creates chances for others and herself, as well.”
As the FCIAC playoffs and state tournaments approach, the Mirabiles will remain side by side for Norwalk.
Beyond that, though, is more up in the air.
Both hope to play field hockey in college, but their chosen majors could lead them to different schools.
Jackie wants to major in occupational therapy while Frances is looking toward an engineering degree.
“It’s definitely been a dream come true, playing side by side with her,” Jackie Mirabile said. “She’s so dedicated and puts in so much effort. It’s been amazing. We’re really connecting there. It’s been an amazing journey with the entire team.”
“It’s been great and a lot of fun,” Frances added. “We both bring different things to the team, different skills that we’re better (at) than the other. You can get a full package there.”
The two share a bedroom and they share a car.
For a couple more weeks, they’ll share a field hockey field with the word “Norwalk” stretched across their uniform top.
As for the future, the twins may keep playing together or go their separate ways.
Either way, they’ll be leaving Norwalk together.
“I can’t think of that,” Seaburg said. “We still have field hockey games to play.”