In their living room in Eatonville, they like rehearsing the soccer dribbling moves of U.S. national team members Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux — until Mom steps in.
Careful in their character acting, sisters Machaela and Alexa Graddy maintain that they have never broken anything valuable inside the house — except their mother’s toenail.
The Graddys’ goal-scoring has been crucial in Eatonville High School’s undefeated run to the Nisqually 1A league championship. District tournaments open all over the South Sound this week.
In her senior season, Machaela (“Wambach”) has been one of the state’s most dominant forwards, tallying 38 goals and 15 assists during the regular season.
And right next to her is Alexa (“Leroux”), a sophomore up-and-comer at forward, also selected to the all-league first
Eatonville coach Michael Williams said that the Graddys’ bond is evident on the soccer field.
“When one zigs, the other zags, and they can always find each other,” he said. “There is such a special connection between them that really opens things up offensively for us.”
Last week, Machaela realized her longtime objective of 100 career goals after she tallied two against Vashon Island. The total is 102 and counting.
Yet because she comes from the same program as 2A career goal-scoring leader Jenny Baker (146 goals from 2003-06), she doesn’t leave with any school records.
“I just go out there and do what I do,” Machaela said. “My team has my back — they don’t look at me and think ‘Oh, she’s just doing it for herself.’ It’s really a team effort.”
That effort starts with her sister.
“I was trying to feed her the ball a lot,” Alexa said. “I really wanted to help her get it, so the last few (games) I was really pushing it.”
And taking mental notes for the future.
“I know I can get there,” said Alexa, who has 12 goals and seven assists this season. “If I push myself, I can get 100, too, by my senior year.”
Williams said the Cruisers benefit from the Graddys’ differing skill sets.
“Machaela is very strong and very skillful with the ball,” he said. “Alexa brings a lot more speed and power to the position.”
Like all sisters, the Graddys have their moments. But when it comes to sports, it’s all business. They also play for Fusion 95 FC Fury and are sprinters on Eatonville’s track team.
“We look past the sibling rivalry and remember that we’re teammates above everything,” Machaela said.
They are part of a squad set to try to win a Class 1A state title. Last season, the Cruisers’ going-out party in 1A ended with a 2-1 loss to Blaine in the district tournament.
“Last year, we came into 1A and made an impact … but it wasn’t our year,” Machaela said. “This year, we’re really making a name for ourselves — not just as a team, but as a school.
“I don’t want to go off to college knowing that I never went to state for soccer, and I feel like all of the girls are working for a common goal.”
Machaela has yet to decide on a college but hopes to play soccer and go into a science-related field. Alexa hopes to join her sister on the field down the road.
But their ultimate goal is to be the celebrity names young girls call out when they’re playing soccer in their living rooms.
“It would be amazing,” Alexa said. “I hope kids in Eatonville are already seeing me, and looking up to me, because I want to be a role model.”