Girls Varsity Hockey Plays for Something Bigger than Itself


Credit: Team

The Girls Varsity Hockey team continued their annual Pink in the Rink tradition this weekend, gathering an electric crowd to cheer them on as they beat a persistent Hotchkiss team 11-1.

The girls, along with many of their families, spent most of the afternoon leading up to the game setting up. The rink was covered with pink and white balloons and pink ribbons. The stands were packed with fans, including loved ones and a loud Williston student section. Most importantly, throughout all three periods the girls competed for a cause bigger themselves or their team.

Junior Caroline Aufiero played the game for her family, which has been closely affected by breast cancer.

“The second I step in the rink and put on that jersey, I’m no longer playing for myself or for my team, I’m playing for everyone who has been affected by cancer,” she said. “Pink in the Rink allows me to play for both my grandmother and my mother who are breast cancer survivors.”

The win bumped the Wildcats record to 16-0 this season. The goals came from seven different girls, and net time was shared equally between sophomore Liv Ferebee and post-grad Jenna Guglielmi.

Head Coach Christa Talbot Syfu ’98 was part of the group who started the Pink in the Rink annual tradition.

“This game was started by a group of parents and players who wanted to support my mom, who was battling breast cancer for the second time,” she said. “This game gives everyone an opportunity to honor survivors in our community and our team as well as those on the other team.”

The first Pink in the Rink game was 13 years ago, and has been a yearly tradition ever since. The girls take the ice in bright pink jerseys with pink hair, pink face paint, pink laces, and other accessories. At the door into the rink there was a table with Pink in the Rink t-shirts; interest in the shirts caused a massive line to get in. With the help of the hockey families, there was a raffle and bake sale in the lobby. This year all proceeds went to the Cancer Connection in Northampton. The team, on Saturday alone, was able to raise $4,000 dollars, and their overall total reached $5,010. Talbot Syfu said this was the highest amount they have ever raised.

Before the puck dropped, the team gave flowers to any loved ones and anyone in the Williston community impacted by breast cancer. They also extended the honor to any members of the opposing team.

After the ceremony, the girls had the crowd on their feet in no time with three quick goals coming in the first four minutes of the game. The goal horn, cheers, and glass rocking echoed through the rink.

Girls Varsity Hockey captain Emily Crovo uses the fans to motivate her.

“When I look into the crowd and just see a sea of pink I can’t help but smile and find motivation to play for everyone who is there showing support for the cause,” she said.

Emily highlighted the importance of the team and their families’ efforts in planning the game.

“Every player goes into town to about three restaurants or stores and we ask them to consider a donation to our raffle,” she said. “The parents do so much behind the scenes to make [the event] so special.”

Talbot Syfu thinks the game is an inspiring way to bring the community together to honor something that can hit close to home.

“It’s now evolved into a much larger scale event due to so many families on our team being impacted,” she said. “We honor survivors and remember those that are not with us.”