Nov. 9, 2007
by Darren Shimp
Twin sisters Cynita and Cyeeta Mott have always been on the same page.
They picked the same sport. They picked the same school. The picked the same major. They also picked the same mantra when it came to their soccer team:
The team comes first.
After the two walked off the Eastern Washington University soccer field for the last time Nov. 4, having helped Eastern win a best-ever nine games and finish with a three-game winning streak, they reflected on their time as Eagles. They spoke most of their love of the coaching staff and players and what opportunities exist down the road.
"It was the best way to go out, ever -- a three-game winning streak," said Cyeeta, who broke eight records as an Eagle. "Having nine wins, that's great."
"We didn't make the tournament, but it feels good to be the first winning team at Eastern," said Cynita of EWU's final mark of 9-8. The Eagles finished 3-4 in the Big Sky to finish in fifth and just miss a berth in the four-team Big Sky Conference Tournament.
Before a season-ending 3-0 victory over Utah Valley State, the Motts, along with the other seniors, were honored in a pre-game ceremony to acknowledge the efforts of the seniors in improving the program.
"I was emotional, but I had to focus on the game," said Cynita. "I wanted to be a 9-8 team, and be over .500. It was hard, but we got through it and won. To win 3-0, that's just dominant right there."
"I was excited, yet very sad because I love every player on this team," said Cyeeta, who had a hand (or foot) in all three goals with two goals and one assist, "Everyone has a different character and personality and I love it. It was very nice that Coach T (assistant coach Tamara Hageage) got us a picture, and the freshmen gave flowers to every senior. It was just great."
The two play as one, but are on complete opposite ends of the field. Cynita is a defender, whose fast legs are an asset when halting opposing team's scoring threats. Cyeeta is a forward, who uses her elusiveness and speed to attack the net.
Their first coach placed one Mott sister on top and one Mott sister in the back. It's always been that way since they began playing soccer at age 12 in Sacramento, Calif. The youth coaches didn't want to monopolize their speed in any one spot, so they spread them out.
So what brought the Mott sisters to Eastern from sunny and warm California?
"The coaches," the two replied in unison.
"He (head coach George Hageage) brings in players with a strong work ethic -- that's what we've needed. Every year we've been improving," said Cyeeta.
It was the coaches who cared for them, and also cared about their academics, something they said other coaches would turn a shoulder to. They also credited another pair of twins, former EWU stars Kim and Jen McMullen, for helping recruit them to Cheney.
Previously, the Mott sisters helped lead Eastern to the Big Sky Conference Tournament. However, this was the season that they will cherish most.
"This was the year that I bonded with every single player and I will never forget this, ever," said Cyeeta, who leaves the school with her name atop eight career and single-season records, and tied for two more. Included are records for single season goals (6) and points (16) and career goals (14) and points (35).
"I will never forget this team," said Cynita. "I love the campus -- it's small, but you get to have one-on-one time with the professors. That helped me a lot.
"Most of all I loved the team," she continued. "I loved the coaches -- they really cared about us. I'm really happy, because I had a baby, Kameo, and she keeps me going. There are so many good things that have happened since she came here."
While their Eagle careers came to an end Sunday, the two have plans that go above and beyond Cheney's borders. Both majored in criminal justice, and could eventually see themselves working together back home in Sacramento.
"When I'm out of school (this spring), I think I am going to try first to play professional soccer," said Cyeeta. "Then after that, if it doesn't work out, then I'm going into the FBI or CIA, but first I'll probably go into a police department to get some experience."
Even when the questions were directed at their individual accomplishments and aspirations, they always found time to mention their team, a common theme in their years as Eagles.
"We just want to thank our whole team -- from freshmen, sophomores, juniors to seniors and the whole coaching staff," said Cynita. "We want to thank everybody for letting us have this great experience. It went by really fast, though. I feel really old."