Women’s soccer dedicates game to cancer awareness

By Matt Hopkinson

Almost everyone in the world knows someone who has been affected by cancer.

This weekend, NIU women’s soccer (2-10-2) will host Eastern Michigan (1-10-2) and Central Michigan (10-1-3) on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

The weekend event will feature the Huskies wearing bright pink shirts during warm-ups, showing their commitment and contribution to Breast Cancer Awareness month. Free handouts of “pink buffs,” as seen on the CBS show “Survivor,” will be given out at the game.

“Everyone knows someone who has dealt with cancer,” said head coach Carrie Barker. “The people in attendance may be thinking of a loved one, or they may look at life differently.”

The coaches are not the only ones involved with the game who take a different look at this weekend’s match-up.

“Just in general, I think it’s awesome we can dedicate a weekend to the people who have been affected by it,” said senior forward/midfielder Kelsey Passaglia. “My grandpa passed away from cancer 10 years ago. Obviously, when you can dedicate a game to supporting cancer awareness and showing that you care, it’s significant because everyone has been affected by it.”

In terms of on the field action, on Friday, Eastern Michigan will come into its matchup following its first win of the season. That game will start at 2 p.m.

On Sunday, Central Michigan will come into the game riding a three-game winning streak, although they will face off against Western Michigan Friday before coming to DeKalb Sunday.

Even though the game may be intense because there are only five games left in the season, the weekend event adds another level of intensity.

“I would say it does [add more intensity],” said NIU junior forward/midfielder Shelbi Johnson. “You’re trying to represent the breast cancer community. There are members of [our] team who have been affected by it, and you’re kind of putting a burden on your shoulders to win the game for them, too.