Masuk’s varsity girls soccer team has had a strong start to their season and didn’t disappoint in their Oct. 11, 2022 Kick Pink game.
The event was the first among many this week to spread awareness for breast cancer. This was made clear by the attendees decked in pink attire and the field that was decorated with pink ribbons and bows.
As well as crowds donning their pink gear, Breast Cancer Awareness Month was also present in the tables set up by the field fundraising for Think Pink Monroe.
Think Pink Monroe is an organization that was founded in 2019 by Bonnie Maur. Maur formerly taught at both Chalk Hill and Jockey Hollow Middle Schools, and has been a survivor of breast cancer for 17 years. Think Pink Monroe has been around for just three years, but it’s already managed to reach 501C3 nonprofit status from the IRS. What this means is that an organization can only be used for its set purpose, the money donated and used within the program is exempt from taxes, and that members cannot be paid.
Therefore, Think Pink Monroe is run entirely on volunteer efforts, with members not receiving a salary for their good will. This way, donators know that they are directly helping struggling families with every dollar (every full dollar that is, having the benefit of avoiding taxation) that they give to the cause.
The goal of Think Pink Monroe is to assist Monroe families battling with breast cancer by donating money covering everything from property taxes to mortgage payments. Members of the group also drive patients to and from hospital visits.
One might imagine that athletes playing with such an important cause in mind might be intimidated by the pressure to do well. However, it seems that they thrived under this pressure, with varsity girls soccer coach Kate Pellegrino describing of the team,
“I think their mentality has been a lot higher. A lot of them have personal experience with breast cancer, whether it’s a family member of theirs or a friend of theirs with it, so I think that they’re really having a good time playing for the cause and I think they’re going to come out swinging,”
And come out swinging they did! Masuk started out with a powerful offensive, keeping close to New Fairfield’s goal. Just 13 minutes into the game, sophomore Samantha Dube scored a goal for the panthers.
With roughly nine minutes left on the clock for the first half, junior Hannah Dorney brought another goal for Masuk. New Fairfield was given an offensive penalty kick, but the girls of Masuk’s varsity soccer team held steady, and New Fairfield failed to score.
Just six minutes after their second goal by Dorney, Masuk scored a third time, setting them firmly in the lead just before the end of the first half.
The second half started with the team in high spirits, motivated by their success. Masuk was awarded a corner kick that was unfortunately blocked by the opposing team. However shortly afterwards, senior captain Grace Sheehan proved that Masuk was in it to win it, bringing a fourth goal for the panthers.
New Fairfield put up a fight to score, but was blocked by the Masuk’s combined efforts, particularly that of freshman Ella McGee, who crossed a good 45 yards of the field at an impressive rate, causing a New Fairfield crowd member to exclaim, “Jeez that team is fast!”
The panthers were made proud with a fifth and final goal scored halfway through the second half by sophomore Brianna VanDerheyden. At this point in the game, Masuk’s previously offensive game steadily became more defensive.
The game ended with Masuk winning 5-0. This is another victory to add on to the team’s impressive start to the season, with only one loss out of the 12 games that they’ve played so far.
Pellegrino summed everything up nicely while discussing the team’s preparations for the Kick Pink game: “We’ve just been kind of amping ourselves up to have a great game for not just ourselves, but for Think Pink Monroe and the community.”