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Sisters Face Off for First Time in Lacrosse Matchup

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Jordyn Reiland


Jordyn Reiland writer

DU will host Stanford on Sunday at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium

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Trinity McPherson runs across the field with the ball

When the DU women’s lacrosse team faces Stanford this weekend, Trinity McPherson will do something she’s never done before: play against her sister.

Before joining DU’s team in 2023, Trinity played at Johns Hopkins University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. For two of those years in Baltimore, she played alongside her sister, Madison, who also plays defense.

“We’ve always just grown up being each other's biggest cheerleaders and biggest support,” says Trinity, who’s pursuing her master’s in social work. “It's going to be very different channeling the competitiveness that we both have in the sport and directing it a little bit more at each other.”

For Madison, who joined Stanford for the 2023-2024 season as a graduate transfer, the idea of competing against one another brings up a lot of “mixed emotions.”

This will be the first—and possibly only—time the McPherson sisters will play against one another in their respective collegiate careers. Trinity returned to Denver for a second year for what she refers to as her “great grandma” season in her final year of eligibility.

Playing on the same team at Johns Hopkins benefited each of them tremendously, as athletes and as people.

“Not only did I admire her as a player because she’s the best defender I’ve ever played with—regardless of her being my sister or not—but also knowing that I had unconditional love behind that as well was so encouraging,” Madison says. “How can you not succeed when you have that support system behind you?”

Family is everything, Trinity says, and geographic distance isn’t a barrier—the family has remained very close no matter where they are in the world.

She was born in South Africa and spent a short period of time in Los Angeles before moving to Baltimore—where she spent most of her childhood. When she was in high school, the family moved to the Philippines for her dad’s job. Now, her parents live in Angola, she’s in Denver, and Madison is in California.

“When we’re together, we’re intentional about it, and when we’re not, we do what we can to stay connected, but it never really feels like we’re ever far apart,” Madison says.

Even when they’re apart and don’t have time to catch up over text or on FaceTime, they often find themselves watching or talking about one another during film sessions because Stanford and DU play similar opponents.

Regardless of the final score on Sunday, the two look forward to being in the same state for a short period of time with their mother—who made the trip all the way from Africa for the game.

“It still is nice knowing that, even though she’s an opponent that weekend, I still feel like there’s somebody on the field that is cheering me on,” Trinity says. “It’s fun going into the game knowing that I have a personal goal, my team has a goal, and I’m also still rooting for my sister. I’m still always wishing her the best.”

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