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College News

Women’s Soccer Plays for More Than a Win


Women’s Soccer Plays for More Than a Win

This past Saturday, the St. John Fisher College women’s soccer team began what they hope will become a yearly tradition. They held the first-ever Pancreatic Cancer Soccer Game in memory of Mike McCabe, the late brother of head women’s soccer coach Jill McCabe, who passed away from the disease in 2009.

In the three weeks leading up to Saturday’s game against Alfred, the team held various fundraising events, including a “pie-the-players” fundraiser where parents, family, and friends could pay for the chance to pie any player with a plate full of whipped cream. In addition, the team sold purple pancreatic cancer awareness wristbands and ribbons, and received generous donations from family and friends.

The team managed to keep their efforts secret from their coach. And, on the day of the game, they revealed that secret to McCabe during the pre-game locker room talk, moving her to tears.

“They pulled off a very successful event! Every detail was taken care of— they called my family, called the visiting coach, spoke with Fisher administrators, and surpassed their financial goal. And somehow, through weeks of fundraising and organizing, kept it as a surprise as well,” said McCabe. “It is hard to put into words how much this meant to me and my entire family.  I am grateful, honored, and so proud of the team!”

In a pre-game ceremony, team captains Katie Burgstrom, Val Hanson, and Krista Pilla presented McCabe with a check for $1,600. All proceeds will be donated to the Lustgarten Foundation, a non-profit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for pancreatic cancer. For the duration of the game, the team also wore purple tape, wristbands, and headbands in memory of Mike and to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer.

The Cardinals tripled the original fundraising goal of $500, and went on to defeat visiting Alfred, 2-0. That is more than a win-win.

Krista Pilla, Val Hanson, Coach Jill McCabe, and Katie Burgstrom.

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