Women's soccer lights up the night

by Claire Nobles / Beacon Staff • October 22, 2014

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The women’s soccer team raised $3,715 for the Light The Night Walk.
Courtesy of Mollie Coyne
The women’s soccer team raised $3,715 for the Light The Night Walk.
Courtesy of Mollie Coyne

Members of the women’s soccer team set a goal for themselves: each player needed to raise at least $100, or $2,400 collectively, for an annual cancer awareness walk.

Instead, the team received $3,715 in donations for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s  Light The Night Walk on Oct. 9—155 percent more than its goal. Members raised the second highest amount of money of the 33 collegiate teams, according to the Emerson Athletics website.

Junior Tayllar Righini, the team captain, spearheaded the team’s involvement in the walk and said it is one of the Lions’ traditions.

“When I came in freshman year, [the walk] was just something that we did,” said the communication sciences and disorders major. “I assumed it had been done previously by the way our coaches and players talked about it and acted.”

The Boston Light The Night Walk is held each fall on Boston Common, and its proceeds go to research and increasing awareness of blood cancer. Last year, the women’s soccer team raised $2,831.

Head coach David Suvak said the team has participated in the walk for the past four years, and its proximity to campus keeps them involved.

“I think we represent the college very well with the walk,” said Suvak. “[It’s] right here in downtown Boston. It’s an exciting evening to be on Boston Common, to see the number of people supporting the foundation and working to find cures.”

The team also has two other philanthropic efforts: South End Soccer and a yearly “Pink-Out” game.

South End Soccer provides soccer programs for children ages five to 13. Emerson’s home field, Rotch Playground is in the South End and is home to some of the program’s games and practices.

“It’s cool because it combines soccer and community service,” said Righini, a midfielder. “When I was younger, I remember always looking up to older coaches, and it’s nice to reciprocate that and provide coaching for younger kids in the South Boston area.”

Emerson’s men’s and women’s soccer teams are set to participate in the program Oct. 25.

At the beginning of every October, players from both Emerson and the opposing team warm up in all pink to raise awareness for breast cancer. Suvak said Emerson’s team also makes a “modest” monetary donation to research.