Wylie girls' soccer team keeps memory of departed defender alive

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by TED MADDEN

WFAA

Posted on March 8, 2014 at 12:54 AM

Updated Saturday, Mar 8 at 12:54 AM

WYLIE -- Every Wylie soccer game starts the same way.

Lady Pirates Head Coach Chris Bezner makes an agreement with the opposing coach to defer the opening kick to his team. When the referee blows the whistle, Wylie kicks the ball all the way back to its own keeper, Jennifer Hiddink. She touches the ball to the spot where their teammate Andie Studley used to start, at the left defense position. The team lines up with Hiddink and takes a knee for a moment of silence.

When that's over, Hiddink kicks the ball out of bounds, and the game starts for real.

They do this every game, and they do it to remember Andie, who passed away last summer.

"I was so close to her. She was my best friend," Hiddink said. "It's really hard to even step out on the field."

Before Friday's game, the team presented Andie's No. 9 jersey to her parents.

Andie had a history of seizures and she had one while sleeping on Aug. 1, 2013. Ever since her passing, they Wylie community has completely embraced her family.

"We knew what we felt about our daughter, but that everyone else feels the same way -- what a wonderful girl she was," said her mother, Jeanne.

"She was so young, right? And made such an impression," said Andie's father, Tim. "She was only 16 years old."

Her parents still come to all the games, but it wasn't until recently that Andie's mom could be heard from the bleachers like she always had been.

"A couple games ago, we could hear her voice again, and it really lifted our spirits," said senior forward Addie Ault. "You can tell, she's kind of coming back."

"I guess I've been quiet for a while," Jeanne said. "And I know last game, it felt better."

The team and the sport that meant so much to Andie, is now helping her family through an impossible time.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

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