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Underlying cause drives field hockey to win

by Carson Werner - Staff Writer
Tue, Sep 24th 2019 08:00 pm
The field hockey team poses for a picture in its teal shirts before its game on Wednesday, Sept. 18. Sharon Douglas has her shirt signed by members of the team.
The field hockey team poses for a picture in its teal shirts before its game on Wednesday, Sept. 18. Sharon Douglas has her shirt signed by members of the team.

Since the start of the 2019 season, The College at Brockport field hockey team has entered each game with nothing to lose. With that mindset, the Golden Eagles have strung together one of their best starts in years. In its most recent matchup against Utica College, the team was motivated by something much bigger than what can be seen on the field.

Every year, Brockport’s athletics teams hold several fundraising events and games dedicated to supporting a specific cause. The football team has been consistently benefiting Camp Good Days and Special Times with its annual Courage Bowl, the lacrosse teams have teamed up with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the women’s basketball team has helped raise awareness for the Pat Summitt Foundation. In the respective games, the squads put in vigorous work to show their support for the causes they are standing for. Possessing a purpose to play for is inspiring, motivating and captivating, not just for the players on the field but for the ones who are there to witness it.

On Wednesday, Sept. 18, the field hockey team exemplified what playing with a purpose can do as it “turned the turf teal” for its Ovarian Cancer Awareness game. Brockport chose to support ovarian cancer because of the impact it has on a member of the Golden Eagle family.

Junior midfielder Olivia Douglas is entering her third year on the team and has played a big role in maintaining the midfield this season. She is currently fourth in total minutes and has a goal to her name so far this season. However, the support she gives her teammates on the field is nothing in comparison to the support she gives to her family off the field.

Olivia’s mother, Sharon Douglas, is currently battling ovarian cancer and has to travel to Rochester twice a month for treatments. No matter the time or day, Olivia finds a way to be there for her mother even if it means missing a class or two.

“I try and keep the two things separate for personal reasons, but my team and coaches have been nothing but supportive when I need them to be,” Olivia said.

Before the opening faceoff, the Golden Eagles gathered on the sidelines to show support for Sharon Douglas and anyone who has been affected by the disease.

“We have been working to improve the culture of our program for the past couple years,” head coach Krista Archambeau wrote. “Being good teammates and supporting each other on and off the field has been a huge part of that. The support that the team has offered Olivia goes beyond field hockey.”

Entering the game against Utica, Brockport had lost two consecutive games without finding the back of the net. Both offenses were equally matched and combated by solid defenses, keeping the game scoreless through the first two quarters. Two minutes into the second half, Utica made it 1-0 to put Brockport behind in its third straight game. However, the team had a spark waiting to combust.

In the final quarter, junior forward Katie Ziemba knotted the game at one on a rebounded shot off the stick of freshman forward Bailey Lazore. The Pioneers retaliated with an offensive onslaught, but the Golden Eagles’ defense held on to the tie and sent the match to overtime.

In their first overtime appearance of the season, the Golden Eagles were rejuvenated by the new task in front of them. With six minutes remaining in extra time, junior forward Meaghan Lurz played hero by capitalizing on a breakaway chance to give Brockport the win. The team’s win over Utica was its first since 2010 and would not have been possible without an on and off the field presence from a member of the Douglas family.

“She [Sharon] was touched at how much work our team and coaches had put into the game, especially knowing it meant so much to me,” Olivia said. “She was so happy to watch our team play with such intensity, especially since she’s only able to make it to very few games. I felt that the team played the game against Utica with an incredible amount of heart for my mom and I.”

The fundraiser brought in $2,860 and will be donated to Ovarian Cancer Research Association. The Golden Eagles will be back in action against SUNY Cortland on Friday, Sept. 27 for their first SUNYAC game of the season.

 

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