April 24, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's soccer team took part in the KICKS Against Breast Cancer spring soccer tournament this past Saturday at Stanford University, not only getting their first taste of competition in the spring but also promoting breast cancer awareness and raising over $1,300 for research and awareness of the disease.
Working with the SCU Athletic Department's Marketing wing, specifically Marketing Assistant Christine Gajdos, a senior at SCU, the team collected donations and also raised funds by selling pink "Awareness" bracelets during the month of April for $2. With only a three-week time frame to raise money before the event, the team and marketing department set a modest goal of raising $500. Through the donations and sales of the bracelet, the group nearly tripled its goal, raising $1,343.49 to be donated for breast cancer research and awareness purposes to Stanford University Breast Cancer Research, the Community Breast Health Project and the Claudia Mayer Foundation, which supports women with breast cancer.
"I believe the success of the fundraising was genuinely based on the nature of the cause," Gajdos said. "Raising awareness for such a notable foundation and knowing all the donations will make a difference in the lives of men, women and children with cancer, is truly an amazing feeling. I hope to maintain the awareness of 'KICKS Against Breast Cancer' on the West Coast, and exceed this year's proceeds in the future."
"To play matches against the caliber of some of the teams we played this weekend, you always enjoy that, and the fact that we raised money for a great cause made it ten times more fulfilling, so it really was a win-win situation," said head coach Jerry Smith. "It also increased all of our awareness about breast cancer and we can all feel good about raising a significant amount of money for breast cancer research and awareness."
On the field, the Broncos saw their first action of the spring season, playing three matches, each consisting of two 25-minute halves, throughout the day. With some injuries depleting the number of players SCU had available to use, the contests were a great opportunity for the coaching staff to experiment with players in different positions and different combinations on the field.
"The goals that were net for us were mostly in the area of experimentation," Smith said about the team's on-field performance. "There were a few bright moments for us, but for the most part I think some of our players recognize that the speed of play in the games is much faster than in training. But having now gone through that, our trainings will be that much sharper."
The first contest of the day saw the Broncos tie San Jose State, 1-1. After a 90-minute break, Santa Clara took to the pitch against Cal and played to another draw, this one a scoreless battle. Later in the afternoon, SCU's day ended in the semifinals of the tournament with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of host Stanford.
"At the end of the day, although we lost in the semifinals to Stanford, I think we ended ona good note when we reminded ourselves of why we participated in the tournament and how much money we actually did raise," Smith added. "So I think that made losing our last game a little easier knowing that we did it for such a good cause."
The Broncos will continue their spring season this weekend in Berkeley as they participate in Cal's "7 v. 7" tournament.