Twin brothers, Ryan and Peter Boylan, have never been separated from each other their entire lives, which is why both of them found themselves playing soccer together at Slippery Rock University.
Having started playing the game they love at the age of three, both of them always played on the same team.
“I can’t imagine playing on a team separate from Peter,” Ryan said. “It was just always easier for us to be together because it would be easy on my parents so they wouldn’t have to decide who goes and watches which kid wherever they are.”
The two brothers began playing for their local club soccer team in Pickering, Ontario at the age of seven. After seven years with the club team, the two joined Ajax Soccer Club at the age of 16, and continued with Ajax through their high school careers prior to attending the Rock.
Before actually committing to SRU, there was a time where the twins thought they could have parted ways and played at separate universities. In fact, Ryan was very interested in attending Division I University of Vermont, but he eventually realized that the school’s size was just too overwhelming.
“One thing that was huge for me was that I wanted to be able to tell the difference between the school and the town,” Ryan said. “Obviously, if they didn’t want to bring Peter along as well it would have been difficult trying to figure out what we would have done financially. Splitting up costs, and my family trying to visit two different locations would have been really difficult for them.”
As the time to finally choose which university they wanted to attend, Slippery Rock eventually emerged as both of their top choices, and they can even credit teammate and fellow Canadian, Brandon Chiu, with their decision.
“Brandon lives about 10 minutes from us at home,” Peter said. “He pretty much told us we needed to come here. He said that we would love it. He Facebook messaged us, texted us, and made sure he did everything he could to make sure we would be here.”
Both brothers agree that being able to actually know somebody like Chiu was important in their decision, because it was nice to know somebody other than just each other.
“Obviously coming in to college can be difficult on anyone, so it was just great that I am able to be going through this experience with Ryan,” Peter said.
The process was even a little more difficult for the brothers since they were coming over the Canadian boarder to attend a college in the United States. This means that their phones would not work in the U.S., so it was difficult for them to talk to people at home, and they also needed to set up all new bank accounts.
“There was some little house-keeping things we needed to take care of,” Ryan said. “It was great to have Peter here with me because we were able to go out and meet people together, and it was just nice to have an extra person there for me if I needed him.”
After their decision was finally made, and they were committed to Slippery Rock, it was important for them to now focus on soccer. Through two full seasons, the twins have found a lot of success on the soccer pitch. Their goal was to get better and hopefully make playoffs their freshman year, and just get better every year.
Their goal was succeeded, as the Rock not only made the playoffs, but even accessed birth to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship game against Mercyhurst University. The Rock lost that matchup, but found themselves in the finals again the next season, once again against Mercyhurst. As sophomores, the brothers conquered their collegiate goals, but they realize they still have time left to keep things going.
“I guess we just have to try and better that,” Ryan said. “We just want to go further into the national tournament and see if we can win the whole thing.”