NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Born and raised in an international soccer hot bed, Humbert Ferrer and Andrea Ferrer began their soccer journey together in Barcelona. They grew up watching some of the world's best soccer, which led them to the bright lights of New York.
Entering his senior season as the captain of the Iona College men's soccer team, Humbert laced his boots for the team's first game against LIU Brooklyn knowing it would be the final season-opener of his collegiate career. In a mirrored sibling reflection, when Andrea donned the Maroon & Gold for the first time against Sacred Heart, it meant she had officially began her college career.
This is a story of brother and sister, but coming from two completely different perspectives. Humbert is writing the conclusion to his Iona journey donning the green captain arm and number 29 while Andrea has begun penning the Ferrer sequel in the Maroon & Gold number seven.
The Ferrer family journey to New Rochelle, N.Y. started with Humbert. He was put into contact with Iona during the recruiting process and from there the puzzle pieces began to fit together. The Gael program, the Iona campus and being close to New York City all joined together to persuade the Barcelona native to come play at Iona.
"I had a couple offers from D-1 schools, but I thought that Iona was the school that played the best soccer and I liked the campus and it was close to the city as well," Humbert said. "I got to see the roster and I had no doubt this would be the best option."
As the years went on from Humbert's arrival, the groundwork was being laid. Andrea saw the fantastic experience her brother was having in person when her family came to visit. At that moment she had a chance to see a women's soccer practice and her intrigue was singed. Women's soccer head coach Sarah Brady, the energy of her and the team, and the campus itself played a huge role in Andrea's decision to attend Iona as a student-athlete.
"I came over to visit my brother two years ago and I really liked the campus," Andrea said.
Andrea also liked the idea of having Humbert around, which allowed for a smoother transition for her. Supporting each other is something that is very important to them both, and Humber understands how crucial it is to be supportive of his freshman sister.
"I'm glad she came here to Iona so I can help her out," Humbert said. "Sometimes it's not easy adapting, so having someone like me to help her and guide her through the path is helpful for her and good thing for me."
Andrea and Humbert do not only make each other more comfortable. They also enjoy the fact they get to see each other much more than they used to with Humbert being over in the United States and Andrea finishing school in Barcelona.
"After almost three years apart it's a good thing to be together again," Humbert said.
The Ferrer last name isn't the only thing the two siblings share. They both play the same position. Defense.
This wasn't entirely planned. Humbert enjoys playing in the back and serving as the last line of defense. Andrea picked up the position from watching her brother, but she her talents and intangibles have since resulted in her playing a more midfield role for coach Brady's women's team.
Andrea plays it very calm when she discusses her style and talent, but Humbert doesn't shy away from the opportunity to talk about his sister's potential.
"They always tell me that she is better than me," Humbert said. "And I have to agree. She is really good."
Many people tell the two defenders that they seem to have a similar style in play, which is something that Andrea and Humbert have had to change to adapt to the style of play in America.
"In Barcelona it is more ticky-tacky," Andrea said. "I noticed the girls are much more physical here."
The physicality and high intensity were the first thing that caught the eyes of Andrea and Humbert, as they were more used to the technical style of soccer they played back home.
"Absolutely, that's the first change I saw," Humbert said. "it's good at the same time, but overall the style is more physical."
Brady helped Andrea make that adjustment right away, and the way her coach operates is something that the freshman enjoys. While Andrea does not really have any big expectations yet, Humbert cannot believe how fast the time has gone.
"My best experiences and memories were on the field, like last year beating nationally ranked UConn. It's crazy that now I'm sitting here, and the three years have gone by so fast."
All in all, it's all about helping each other out when it comes down to it. Humbert understands his career is coming to an end, therefore he wants to set an example for Andrea the best he can.
"Focus on the things that you know you have to do," Humbert said. "Because at the end of the day its great to be playing soccer and going to school. But also experience life."