Elizabeth Palmer was a few steps ahead of her sister, just in front of the gate to leave the Maize South soccer field, and made sure they walked out together.
"Bye, Liz. Bye, Angela," people shouted as they turned to wave.
In a family of nine, togetherness has been a theme in the Palmer family. Many of the high schoolers' toddler sisters and their mother were in the stands cheering louder than most at Thursday night's game.
But when they woke up the next morning, only one of their teams was still undefeated.
Elizabeth and Angela attend rival high schools. Liz at Maize, Angela at Maize South. Living within the USD 266 borders, they could choose which school they preferred because of open enrollment.
Growing up, they were zoned for Maize South, but the Eagles always had the better soccer program. When Elizabeth got to high school four years ago, she chose Maize. Two years later, Angela joined her.
But after a year in the Maize program, Angela's mom said her daughter had a realization.
"She has known the girls at Maize South since she was a first-grader," Lori Palmer said. "She's not putting emphasis on soccer. It was about her heart and her friends, and whatever came with soccer, she would be at peace with."
Now on opposite sides of Maize Road, the Palmer sisters are thriving, just not together.
Elizabeth is a senior midfield captain for the Eagles, the best team in the area through the early part of the season. She is the orchestrator for Maize in the middle third. She has a touch no other Maize player has, and that has resulted in a team-high three assists this season.
Angela, a sophomore, wears No. 10 for the Mavericks and plays that role well. She is a striker who plays closer to the midfield and at times plays exactly like her sister, like a maestro. She has one goal and five assists, tied for the most in the Wichita area.
Last year as a freshman, Angela didn't earn many minutes at Maize. She spent a lot of time training with Elizabeth, like she had growing up.
"We've been competitive our whole lives," Elizabeth said. "We grew up playing basement soccer and playing in the backyard. ... She has all my tricks."
So when they met on the pitch Thursday, Elizabeth said it was a bit like watching a mirror. Maize won 2-0, but Angela created many of the Mavericks' chances, including a shot in the second half that nearly curved into the top left corner.
Maize South coach Marlon Rios said when he learned Angela was coming to across town for her sophomore season, he was thrilled.
"But at the end of the day, it's about family," he said. "I'm sure at the end of the day, they go home and do things that normal sisters do. Competition is on the field, and then after that, it's all family."
That excitement has been rewarded so far. Even after losing a handful of college-caliber players, Maize South started the season 4-0 and won the McPherson Invitational against a prolific Bullpup offense.
Angela was chosen to the all-tournament team.
"I guess all that time in the backyard paid off," she said.
But even with all the success the Palmers are having this season, their mother said she would prefer them to be on the same team, though she is glad with Angela's decision to transfer. Playing together would certainly help with travel.
During the McPherson Invitational, Elizabeth and Maize were back in Wichita at the Titan Classic.
"I told Liz, 'I gotta go as soon as the game ends, so I can go watch your sister,' " Lori Palmer said.
After the game Thursday, almost every Maize player hugged Elizabeth, their former teammate, in the handshake line. By the time Angela got to the end, a huddle surrounded her. They laughed and smiled and hugged more.
Maize coach Jay Holmes said watching the sisters play against each other and even defend each other at times was special.
"For me, I would have rather them play together than against each other, in my opinion," he said. "But I think they handled it as best they could."
The Eagles and Mavericks won't meet again this regular season, but even after the loss, Angela said she was still happy with her decision and even happier with how both teams embraced her.
"I just felt like I wanted to spent my high school with my best friends," Angela said. "Even if that meant having to leave the team that I really did love."
Liz said that's OK by her.
"It's not like I hate her for going to Maize South," she said. "I'll always love her."