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HAWK TALK At Rensselaer

Photo by Tom La Point / Times Union

The Rensselaer legacy for one family has added a new tradition—soccer.

Ann Larsen '03 and Mark Larsen '02, grandchildren of William Stevens '38, have kicked a soccer ball since they can remember. Now, they are both on the varsity soccer teams at Rensselaer.

Bill Stevens didn't play soccer when he came to Rensselaer. But he couldn't be happier with his grandkids' decision to play the sport here, he says.

"In 1998, I thought it was great because my grandson, Mark Larsen, started RPI. 1999 was even better because his sister joined," says Stevens.

"We both had opportunities to attend other colleges," says Mark Larsen. "But, in the end, we chose RPI because of the combination of academics and soccer."

Mark, a junior, is majoring in electronic engineering. Ann, a sophomore, is a biology major. Both played soccer at Averill Park High School before moving down the road to the Rensselaer campus.

This year, the women's varsity team finished 12-4 and advanced to the New York State Tournament. The team lost to Oswego State 3-2 in double overtime. The men's varsity team finished with a 6-8-1 record.

"Given the challenging and competitive nature of varsity at Rensselaer, to have two children from the same family make the cut in soccer is unique," says Aldo Nardiello, who coaches both the men's and women's teams.

In addition to grandfather Bill, the Larsen legacy includes Ann and Mark's parents, Susan (Stevens '70) and Robert Larsen '68, who met at Rensselaer. Two uncles—Robert Stevens '69 and Edward Larsen '66 —also graduated from Rensselaer.

Bill Stevens believes that his son and daughter, Robert and Susan, were the first son and daughter of an alumnus to attend the Institute at the same time. He's proud that his grandchildren are following in the family tradition, and are marking another milestone—a grandson and granddaughter attending the Institute at the same time, both playing on varsity teams.

For more on the soccer teams, as well as Rensselaer's 21 other varsity sports, visit the Athletics Web site at www.rpi.edu/dept/athletics or call (518) 276-6685.

To learn more about Rensselaer's Legacy Program, contact Susan Haight at haighs@rpi.edu or (518) 276-6042.

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