Posted: November 13, 2007
By Amanda Housenick
Of the Morning Call
When Christy Smith wants a taste-tester for a new dish, she calls her sister, Lindsey.
When the two hear someone screaming on the sidelines at a Lehigh field hockey game, they know it's their other sister, Carly.
When Christy needs to do speed training or lift weights, she takes Lindsey with her.
Often, all three play together in a league during the summer.
''I love that,'' Christy said.
Thus is the life of the Smith sisters.
Good luck trying to separate them. About the only thing that's worked is distance. And even that has been temporary.
''We definitely look out for each other,'' Christy said. ''There is no jealousy.''
That's because these three sisters, separated from oldest [Christy] to youngest [Carly] by five years, are each other's biggest fans. They push each other to get better and are there as sounding boards when they're going through rough times.
''They are as close as they seem to be,'' Lehigh coach Julie Mazer said. ''They genuinely love each other like sisters are supposed to. Christy really looked forward to going home over winter break last year because she missed [Carly] so much. I can't say enough good adjectives to describe them.''
Mazer coaches Christy, a senior, and Lindsey, a sophomore at Lehigh, while Carly is a junior at Downingtown West High.
Growing up, they never fought over clothes or makeup or even whose room was bigger. In fact, Lindsey and Christy each had their own rooms, and, as Carly put it, the youngest would float from room to room.
''I always have looked up to both of them,'' said 16-year-old Carly, who has Lehigh on her college list. ''Even in elementary school when I had to write papers about someone I admired, I always wrote about them because I thought they were good role models and I still think they are.
''They are great off the field and on the field. They've always helped me with my homework and they still do. If I have a question in school, I call them and they know how to help me through it.''
They always helped each other, too, when it came to practicing. A day rarely passed when one of them didn't grab the other two to go in the backyard with their sticks, a few balls and some cones.
''We even got our hands on goalie pads and took turns,'' Christy said. ''Our favorite game was to see who could drive the ball the farthest.''
So with Christy being the oldest, she must have always won, right?
''No,'' she said. ''Of course I got beat, but since I was the oldest I could make the rules.''
One of Christy's happiest moments came when she was a sophomore in college. She got a call from Lindsey saying she'd be joining her at Lehigh to play field hockey and lacrosse.
''She said, 'I didn't want to tell you but I really wanted you to come here,' '' Lindsey recalled.
Things went smoothly for the two eldest Smith girls from Day 1. Lindsey, who already knew many of the girls on the team, fit right in. And she excelled on the field. She started as a freshman, just as Christy had. And the duo ended up playing side by side in the Mountain Hawks' midfield for two years.
''Lindsey is the absolutely nicest person,'' said Christy, who has a 3.88 grade point average as an industrial engineering major. ''You couldn't fight with her if you tried. And the more successful I am, the happier she is for me.''
Saying Christy has been successful is an understatement.
The senior, who wrapped up her college career in early November, has had a stellar four years at Lehigh. The honors and awards she received are plentiful, but none bigger than her selection to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division senior all-star game, Nov. 17 at the University of Maryland.
Only 38 players from across the country were chosen. Christy is the first Mountain Hawk since 2001 to earn the honor.
''It's a huge, huge, huge accomplishment,'' Mazer said. ''Almost every team's game plan is to shut her down.''
Time to lead the cheers
Despite the constant attention Christy drew, she found ways to break through. In five Patriot League games this year, she tallied five goals and recorded a league-leading 13 points. Three times she scored game-winning, overtime goals and finished 2007 with eight goals and five assists.
She was named Patriot League offensive player of the year,the first Lehigh player since 1992 to earn that honor.
''The majority of our offense runs through her,'' Mazer said. ''And she has developed excellent elimination skills and fakes.''
Although Christy is disappointed that her field hockey career recently ended, she is in no hurry to be a graduate assistant or get right into coaching.
That's because she is determined to spend a lot of time next year as a fan -- of Lindsey and Carly.
''I really want to watch them play,'' Christy said. ''And since Carly has spent her life watching the two of us, it would be great to see her play.''
This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, November 13, 2007 edition of The Morning Call. Used with permission.