MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–On Sunday, the West Virginia University women’s soccer team hosted its annual 4-versus-4 Breast Cancer Tournament. The small-sided tournament raises funds for the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center at WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.
“Betty and I are friends, women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “But it was very important to her and I that we keep the money and research in the state of West Virginia.”
Participants in the tournament compete along side two other teammates. The fourth member of the squad is a Mountaineer.
This year 85 teams participated in the tournament.
The event began at 8 a.m. and lasted all-day at the Caperton Indoor Facility. Age groups, ranging from third grade to eighth grade, are split up into several divisions over the course of the day. In the evening, there is a division for college-age and older participants.
Izzo-Brown started the event as a fun way to generate revenue for the charity and fun for all involved.
While the tournament benefits a good cause, it is a good time for the partakers.
“I liked getting to play against different teams and playing with Sam (Samer Almani, WVU men’s soccer),” Aleena Simon said.
With the recent success of the WVU women’s soccer team, more attention is on the program and the sport across the state.
For those youngsters hoping to one day don the old gold and blue, Izzo-Brown has one message.
“Keep working hard on the field and in the classroom,” she said. “Dream big and focus on your goals. You can do anything if you work towards your dreams.”
Each team played three games. The winner of each division played in a semi-final and then finals match. And make no mistake about it, it was competitive for both the participants as well as the Mountaineers.