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Despite forfeit, show goes on at Latin Academy's Breast Cancer Awareness Game

Posted by Justin Rice  October 18, 2013 06:13 PM

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Latin Academy senior Andrew Hobson was one of several fans at Friday afternoon's Breast Cancer Awareness game that paid one dollar to try to score a goal on Latin Academy coach Kara Stafford during halftime. (Justin A. Rice / For the Globe)

The Latin Academy girls’ soccer team took a page out of Broadway’s playbook Friday afternoon.

Even though Madison Park forfeited just before the Dragons’ third annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game, the show still went on as Latin Academy scrimmaged its JV team at Hynes Field in West Roxbury.

“That still helped us improve and helped [the JV] improve on their game,” said sophomore forward Anna Kopp, who scored the second goal in the 3-0 victory that raised money for the America Cancer Society during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“It’s for the cause, it’s now about who we play.”

The game raised $720.70, almost double last year's total.

Madison Park couldn’t make it to the game because of a transportation issue, but Latin Academy still charged $4 admission ($2 for anyone sporting pink). In addition to wearing pink socks and kicking a pink soccer ball, Latin Academy also sold refreshments and crafts to raise money for the cause.

“They couldn’t get a bus here,” said Latin Academy first-year coach Kara Stafford. “It was disappointing. We were looking forward to competing and we worried that the fans wouldn’t appreciate seeing us playing our JVs. But you know what? I think our JVs played really, really hard and it was an excellent game.

"It’s always hard when you play somebody you think you’re better than to keep performing. But the girls did a really great job of staying pumped up for the game.”

Senior defender Jillian Eweka scored the only goal of the first half before Kopp and Rachel Kerrigan scored second-half goals for the varsity squad.

Stafford was going to donate $10 for every goal that was kicked out of the air and $20 for every goal headed into the net.

“Unfortunately, nobody scored off an air ball or a header, but I’m still going to donate a little bit of money,” Stafford said.

A former goalkeeper at Northeastern, Stafford also decided on the spur of the moment to get in net at halftime. She charged fans $1 for the chance to score on her. And she let up only one goal.

“I felt that they were missing out on seeing two varsity teams compete, so we needed a show to get the fans involved,” Stafford said.

Stafford said this was a good chance for her to see her JV team play.

“A lot of times, they have home games when we have away games,” she said. “It was a great opportunity [to see the JV team] and it was a good opportunity for us to see what we have to work on. They have some players that are extremely fast, and it will be great to keep watching them develop.”

This was also a chance for Stafford's team to bond just before the city tournament at the end of the month. Last year, Latin Academy lost, 1-0, in the finals to East Boston.

“We know that for cities we have to not only be on our A game but on our A game together,” Stafford said. “And coming together, getting all the socks, everybody is looking out for each other, helping sell things, getting their friends to come, showing pride in their team. It gets them to come together.”

Kopp, who has been on the varsity since eighth grade, was playing in her third benefit game. She was pleased to see members of the school’s undefeated football team (which has a bye this week) in attendance.

“It’s great, there’s always great energy every year, and our whole school comes together and we get supported by the boys football team,” she said. “We all come together for one event, one cause, to raise awareness for breast cancer.”

The game will not be forgotten soon, even if it's because the pink streak sprayed into Stafford’s hair will take some time to wash away.

“Well, my hands are almost not pink and I washed them probably 10 times,” she said. “It’s spray-on. It will come out eventually.”

Justin A. Rice covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.