MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s soccer team raised a record-setting $8,584 in donations for Morgantown’s Betty Puskar Breast Cancer Foundation at its annual 4-versus-4 tournament on March 1.
The all-day “Three’s a Team…the Fourth’s a Mountaineer” event at the Caperton Indoor Facility featured 67 teams and 303 athletes. Each squad, comprised of boys and girls in grades 3-8, as well as college-age and older groups, was paired with a Mountaineer or Mountaineer coach.
“This event not only incorporates fun games of soccer between our program and the community, but also brings attention to a very important cause and creates an opportunity to make money for breast cancer research,” says Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “Everyone embraces this chance to play the sport they love and to raise money and awareness. That’s what makes this annual event unique and fun.”
The 4v4 tournament is the squad’s first fundraising project of the new season. The team also will hold a second collection at its spring Pink Game against Alderson-Broaddus on Thursday, April 17, at 7 p.m., at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Additionally, each student-athlete will fundraise on her own for the cause.
“I think the tournament is a really fun day for the younger athletes because they love to play alongside our team,” says Mountaineer junior midfielder Ali Connelly
. “Even when they aren’t playing on the field, they love to sit and talk with us. It’s fun for our team, too, because we get the chance to spend time with these excited soccer players. It’s nice for us all to come together for a good cause.
“Coach Izzo-Brown has put a big emphasis on raising funds for breast cancer awareness, and the whole team has embraced the cause. I think the Morgantown community puts a lot of support behind breast cancer awareness, too. It’s great that we focus our fund raising all year toward the goal of finding a cure for cancer. This past weekend’s efforts will go far, and we’re looking forward to presenting our final check in October at our annual Pink Game.”
The Mountaineers open their 2014 spring season on Saturday, March 22, with a 3 p.m. match against the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) New York Flash, in Elma, N.Y. The team’s first home match is set for Saturday, April 5, against St. Francis, at 4 p.m., at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.