NEWPORT BEACH — Pink covered Davidson Field in a field hockey game at Newport Harbor High between Edison and the Sailors on Tuesday.
The ball was pink, instead of the standard orange. There were pink ribbons tying back ponytails of the players. Even the officials wore distinct dark pink jerseys for a Play for the Cure event, with proceeds from sales of pink ribbons going toward Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
The result seemed pretty inconsequential compared to the overall cause — Newport Harbor won the Sunset League game, 1-0, on a goal by junior forward Taury Hlinka — but the real winner appeared to be breast cancer research and awareness.
“Sophie dribbled it in,” Newport Harbor Coach Amanda Boyer said. “Taury made a reverse flick to get it into the cage.”
The Sailors (16-4-2, 7-2 in league), who are second in league behind Huntington Beach, posted the shutout and also played a meaningful game.
The Newport Harbor program has certainly felt the effects of breast cancer these past few years. Junior varsity coach Kerrie Gates’ mother, Patty, died nearly six years ago of breast cancer. The game was played in honor of Patty. Newport Harbor field hockey team treasurer Nancy Rohan, mother of Sailors varsity player Kirsten Rohan, is a breast cancer survivor. Some mothers or relatives of players have been battling the disease recently.
“It is prevalent in our program,” Boyer said. “This was a good way to raise some money, support people that are directly affected in our program.”
Tuesday, which was also senior day, was the first dedicated field hockey game by Newport Harbor. It was the league home finale, which saw 14 seniors and their parents honored before the game.
As for the goal scored by Hlinka, it was put in the back of the cage with 15:05 left in the second half. The Chargers were called for an illegal hit, after a player hit the ball above the knees within close proximity of Sailor players. Senior Sophie Evans took the initial attempt, which turned into a dribbling pass to Hlinka, who fired it past Edison goalie Hannah Hevdorff.
“I turned around, shot it and it went in,” Hlinka said. “I went for it, took a risk.
“We’re trying to have everyone be aware of [breast cancer]. It was pretty cool to play for our seniors.”
Newport Harbor, which has won three straight Los Angeles Field Hockey Assn. Tournament of Champions titles, will play host to a team Monday at 3:15 p.m. in the first round of the playoffs. The team is to be determined after Thursday’s games.
“We’re definitely ready to defend our title,” Hlinka said. “We’re prepared, we’re stoked.”
Evans was also pumped up about the win.
“That wasn’t me, that was all my team,” Evans said. “It was good to finish it off. It was good to win like that.”
Edison’s best chance to tie the game came with 5:51 left in the game. Katie Moss scrambled low to try to flick the ball past Newport Harbor senior goalie Andie Ward, but Ward got her pads parallel to the ground and stopped the ball from rolling in.