Eagles Win While Playing in Pink
Barrington's girls' lacrosse team dropped Bay View, 14-6, while the captains spearheaded both the win and a cancer fundraising effort.
In an era where young people are often considered self-centered, two Barrington High School student-athletes have raised the bar for their peers. Not to mention raising more than $225 for cancer research.
Barrington’s girls’ lacrosse team remained unbeaten this year against Division I rivals when it blew past St. Mary Academy/Bay View of East Providence, 14-6, last Thursday night under the lights at Victory Field.
But the outcome of Thursday’s contest was largely an after-thought thanks to the unselfish efforts of BHS captains Rebecca Maddock and Rebecca Gasperoni, who desired not only to make this match memorable for both squads, but to make a societal statement as well.
“I am so proud of my captains and what they did to make tonight possible,” Coach Peter Brock said. “They understand there’s more to life than lacrosse.”
With the cooperation of the administration and faculty of both schools, the Rhode Island Interscholastic League and members of both teams, Maddock and Gasperoni spearheaded a drive which raised more than $200 for the Susan G. Komen For the Cure, previously know as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
According to the foundation’s website, Susan Komen idied in 1980 after battling breast cancer for three years. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and by commitment to “make a difference,” her sister, Nancy G. Brinker, made eliminating breast cancer a lifelong passion and established the foundation two years later.
Since 1982, For the Cure has invested nearly $2 billion in breast cancer research and causes. It it today one of the largest source of nonprofit funds for cancer.
“Rebecca and I were at the Gob Shops in Warren before the season started buying some lacrosse equipment and we started talking about doing something this season such as playing a match For the Cure,” Maddock said. “We talked about playing a game for this cause, so we decided to go ahead with it.”
With support from their coach, their teammates, Barrington's director of athletics, George Finn, and members of the Bay View girls’ lacrosse program, the Eagles staged last Thursday’s contest in primetime (a 6:30 pm start) to attract a larger crowd than usual for a match. Despite a stiff wind and falling temperatures, the event drew a crowd of more than 100 spectators and donations to For the Cure totaling $229.05.
“It’s a great thing that Bay View agreed to get involved in this program,” Gasperoni said. “Both teams really came together tonight.”
To let everyone know the cause for which they played, players on both squads wore neon pink socks in memory of Susan Komen as did the two game officials and Finn.
Pink T-shirts and sweatshirts were donned by many at the match. Pink balloons were released at the start of the contest and a 10-minute exhibition match was played at halftime by third- and fourth-grade girls enrolled in the East Bay Lacrosse program, appropriately dressed in either pink or white T-shirts.
For Maddock and Gasperoni, breast cancer is a personal matter. Both have relatives or know of women who have suffered from the disease.
“I have an aunt who has breast cancer,” Gasperoni said. “I wanted to do this for her.”
“We want to raise awareness of breast cancer and awareness of ‘the cure,’” Maddock said. “This is a great way to do it.”
The match itself Thursday was essentially lopsided as the Eagles upped their Division I-North record to 8-0 and widened their gap over second-place LaSalle Academy (7-2).
Fired up by the larger-than-usual crowd and the festive air of the occasion, the Eagles scored twice in the opening 79 seconds and never trailed, building an insurmountable 12-2 advantage by intermission. In the second period, Brock substituted freely as the Bengals dominated the action and made the final score respectable.
Gasperoni and Kelly Dolan sparked the Barrington surge with 5 goals apiece, while Elizabeth Teitz added 2 scores and Mary Coogan and Katherine Sloan both found the back of the net twice. Maddock and keeper Katherine Clancy (10 saves) anchored a stout Eagles defense, which completely throttled Bay View in the opening session when the issue was still in doubt.
At the match’s conclusion, Brock said he was very pleased with his squad’s performance.
“We really came out strong tonight and scored early to take the pressure off,” he said. “More importantly, we played solid defense and kept Bay View to just two goals in the first half. Our defense is really coming along.”
Brock then said he was equally satisfied with Maddock’s and Gasperoni’s initiative.