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Soccer siblings at Butler: Julia and Eric Leonard lean on each other here at Butler

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If you find a soccer game that features either Eric or Julia Leonard, you’ll probably find the other somewhere in the stands. That’s how it’s always been, since the day Eric nailed Julia in the face with a soccer ball.

“She was too excited about getting her tooth knocked out,” Eric said. “That that event right there made her want to play soccer for the rest of her life. For such a dumb story, that has transferred all the way up to our Butler career. We’ve always been at each other’s games, we’ve always been for one another and I think ultimately we always want one another to improve in the way they play on and off the field.”

These two siblings have made their way to Butler University where they both play for the school’s soccer teams; Eric on the men’s team, Julia on the women’s.

The two have always been there for each other. From playing basement soccer together as kids, to playing soccer for the same school. While soccer gives them something to bond over, their support for each other moves well beyond the soccer field. The two often find themselves chatting over a cup of coffee at Starbucks or chatting about life in Eric’s apartment.

“Having my brother here just makes me feel safe,” Julia said. “And I know that I can always go to someone that loves me unconditionally and will just be there for me whenever I need someone he’s there. It’s really easy and I know he won’t judge me if I have anything to say.”

That love and support began way before they shared a college campus, even when they were sharing a high school campus Eric never let anybody pick on his little sister.

Eric being a senior and Julia being a freshman, the duo has spent most of their time apart over the last several years, their time apart helped them realize how much they enjoyed the close support coming from one another

While the two are brother and sister, they’re also a team, dependent on one another and can always rely on the other to be there.

“Together, we make a great team. We are there for one another and I’d say that she is one of the most caring people that I’ve met and she puts other people’s needs before hers.”

This sibling duo who both start on the back line for their respective teams, are both playing for conference titles in the Big East. Julia and the women’s team take on the Georgetown in the Big East Championship Sunday, Nov. 5. Eric and the men’s team begin their quest for back-to-back Big East Championships against Xavier on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at the Sellick Bowl.

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