The unique connection shared by Saint Leo twins Stash and Steve Adams has the Lions thinking about scoring more goals.
Scoring goals in soccer is an exercise in patience and timing.
Scoring opportunities may appear just a few times each half. Teammates must be on the same page, ready to react to a gesture or a look.
That give and take can only come from experience. Saint Leo has seen that connection in practice between twins Stash and Steve Adams. Especially since the pair have been working together on the soccer field for nearly 20 years.
Coach Fran Reidy said he might soon take advantage of that connection during conference games.
"So far, we've been hurting by playing them on separate sides. Steve is on the left (at midfield) and Stash is at right wing," Reidy said. "I've thought about switching them. That good understanding can make them more effective if they are both on the same side."
Stash and Steve last played side by side in their senior years at Melbourne Central Catholic. The twins were the only forwards and the hub of the offense. Stash and Steve shared MVP honors and helped their school advance to the final four at state.
"People who have seen us play together always say, "Wow, you guys really look good together. We've never seen a tandem play that well together,' " Stash said. "They say we have that twin thing going on. We kind of think the same way. It's weird. We can feel it."
Stash and Steve had plenty of options for collegiate soccer after high school. The brothers couldn't help but be drawn back to each other. Saint Leo offered the best situation _ one where the twins would be able to stay together.
The twins share an apartment and are best friends. They've also grown accustomed to being mistaken for each other.
"It's annoying but we forgive people," Steve said of the confusion.
Stash added, "I just got my hair cut so now we get mixed up a lot. Usually we are off in terms of hair."
The twins say their close friends have no trouble telling them apart _ even on the telephone.
"There are certain little things you can catch after hanging out with us for a long time," Steve said. "We speak different ways. Our voices are different."
The twins rarely use their physical likeness to their advantage, although sometimes they can't resist.
"When I was a senior in high school I was (joking) with these two girls that liked Steve," Stash said. "I was like, "Yeah, I'm Steve.' That's probably the only time we've ever done it. I had so much fun."
This preseason has been the most fun the twins have had at Saint Leo. Stash has played a larger role than Steve in his first two seasons, finishing third in scoring each year.
Meanwhile, Steve has totaled just two goals and two assists in his first two seasons. Reidy saw a different Steve Adams before the season and expects big things from the junior.
"Steve was clearly one of the top players if not the top player during the preseason," Reidy said.
"He came back focused. His training habits were great and he was playing great."
The Adams twins gave Reidy and Saint Leo fans a taste of what the future could hold in the season opener against Thomas, Ga. Steve matched his career goal total of two while Stash added a goal of his own in the Lions' 5-0 win.
By the time the Sunshine State Conference schedule begins on Sept. 20, Steve and Stash may finally be together on the field again, playing on the same side.
"I play well with other players, but with Steve it's a whole new level," Stash said. "I'm so trusting. The confidence level is way up."
Steve added, "We're upperclassmen. We have a whole different feel for it. We need to get the goals."