Monday, November 14, 2016

Matsen sisters ambassadors for University of Illinois Springfield

University of Illinois Springfield student-athletes and sisters Jocelyn Matsen and Emily Matsen play different sports in the same season, so the Rochester High School graduates turn to technology to keep tabs on what the other one is up to.

“I watch her soccer games even if we are traveling in the bus,” said Jocelyn, a senior on the UIS women’s golf team. “I’ll pull it up on my phone or I’ll watch it at the hotel.”

Golf tournaments aren’t usually broadcast over the Internet. “I’ll look at the live stats and if our mom goes to watch, she’ll text me every three holes,” said Emily, who also is a member of UIS women’s basketball team.

There’s a lot for the sisters, who are one year and eight months apart, to keep up with this fall. Jocelyn was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week on Oct. 13. “She played exceptionally well,” UIS golf coach Frank Marsaglia said. “She just seems more relaxed on the course this year. I think that’s why you’re seeing lower scores from her.”

Emily is a junior starter on a women’s soccer team that has set the program’s single-season record for wins at seven and she was the hero in one of those victories. Emily scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win against Wisconsin-Parkside on Sept. 30. It was UIS’ first time ever beating the Rangers. 

Jocelyn’s award came of the heels of her winning the Maryville Fall Invitational, where she set the school record for lowest 36-hole round and became the first UIS golfer to finish a 36-hole tourney under par. Her 70 is a college career low and ties the school record for lowest 18-hole score.

Emily originally considered playing basketball at Millikin or Monmouth instead of playing soccer for the Stars. She got the opportunity to play basketball for UIS last year after participating in an open tryout. She is one of only two athletes who competes in two sports at UIS and she cannot envision herself anywhere else.

There was just one thing that could have put a wrinkle in her plans to attend the school. “I asked Jocelyn 20 times to make sure it was OK if I came to the same college as her,” Emily said. “I did not want it to be 20 years from now and her be like, ‘I wish she didn’t follow me to college.’ “I asked Jocelyn, ‘Are you sure it’s OK that I go to the same college as you?’ So she wouldn’t be mad at me.” 

Jocelyn, who picked UIS over Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and Western Illinois, had no trouble giving her blessing. She wanted her sole sibling to attend UIS, but didn’t want to pressure her. UIS was just the best fit.”

 Emily, a biology major, and Jocelyn sort of see themselves as ambassadors of the university when it comes to sharing their success stories with local athletes in hopes of convincing them to compete for UIS.

This story appeared in The Washington Times on November 13, 2016.

Read the entire article online.