Oswego State Raises Awareness

A member of the Women's Volleyball team practices wearing a shirt in support of breast cancer awareness.
A member of the Women’s Volleyball team practices wearing a shirt in support of breast cancer awareness.

The Oswego State athletic department has continued its efforts to support and raise awareness for breast and ovarian cancer.

The Oswego State field hockey team hosted “Totally Teal” on Sept. 28 to support and raise awareness for ovarian cancer. Mary Gosek, wife of men’s ice hockey coach Ed Gosek and ovarian cancer survivor, dropped the ceremonial ball at midfield before the game.

“That was awesome,” Mary Gosek said. “They called me and asked if I wanted to do it and I said ‘sure.’ It makes you feel really good.”

The event was proposed by field hockey and women’s lacrosse head coach Brandi Lusk, who is close with Mary Gosek and has players on her teams who have had family members affected by ovarian cancer.

“The Ovarian Cancer ‘movement’ seemed like a great avenue to go this year,” Lusk said via email. “We are so happy for Mary Gosek’s recovery and we just wanted to do as much as we could to raise money or awareness.”

Listen to our entire interview with Mary Gosek

Coach Gosek said it was a great experience to watch his wife out on the field.

“I know Brandi’s girls did a great job in supporting Mary,” Gosek said. “For me, that’s pretty special because I know what she (Mary) went through and even if we could just help one person, we know we did well.”

Listen to our entire interview with coach Ed Gosek

Mary Gosek was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which she referred to as “the silent killer,” a year-and-a-half ago and is now in remission. She said she is happy to have been able to help people learn about the disease.

“It makes me very happy that young people can see,” Mary Gosek said. “It’s good for young women to understand what it’s about.”

In addition to dropping the ceremonial ball at the field hockey game, Mary Gosek will drop the ceremonial puck at the men’s club hockey team on Oct. 27. She will also drop the puck before the men’s ice hockey team’s home opener on Nov. 1.

The “Teal Walk” preceded the “Totally Teal” event earlier in September. Members from the field hockey team, women’s lacrosse team and women’s ice hockey team all donned shirts in support of the event and walked around the lagoon on campus to raise awareness for ovarian cancer.

Coach Lusk wanted to make an effort to do more to raise support for ovarian cancer in addition to the “Totally Teal” and “Teal Walk” events.

“I brought both teams (the women’s lacrosse and field hockey teams) together at my house for dinner and we made over 1,000 teal ribbons to hand out as well as posters for the game,” Lusk said. “During the game we had a statement regarding ovarian cancer and the statistics. We had a table that had tons of handouts with symptoms and the Hope for Heather organization’s information. We had many things for sale that were teal and all proceeds went to the Hope for Heather Foundation.”

In addition to the field hockey team’s “Totally Teal” event, Oswego State’s athletic department has helped raise awareness through other teams and events as well.

Oswego State’s men’s soccer team, women’s ice hockey team and volleyball team all host events in support of breast cancer.

The men’s soccer team will sport pink jerseys in support of breast cancer when it will host SUNY Brockport on Friday, Oct. 18.

Oswego State’s volleyball team hosts “Dig Pink” through the Side-Out Foundation, which is a national program hosted in October and is supported by college and high school volleyball teams across the country. While its season does not begin until Nov., the women’s ice hockey team hosts “Pink the Rink” in February in support of breast cancer.

Each of these teams will don pink jerseys in October to support breast cancer. While the field hockey team does not have any teal jerseys, it has found a way to support ovarian cancer every time it steps on to the field.

“However for the game we had teal stick tape, teal ribbons and teal head bands that we will continue to wear all season,” Lusk said.

Oswego State’s volleyball will host “Dig Pink” through the Side-Out Foundation, which is a national program held in October and is supported by college and high school volleyball teams across the country.

“So many people have jumped on board with it, especially in our sport,” J.J. O’Connell, head coach of the volleyball team said. “I’ve searched other teams’ pages and everyone is doing something for it.”

The team will host “Dig Pink” on Saturday, Oct. 19 when they have a doubleheader against Sage College and Alfred University.

“We have also do a raffle on-site and have other little trinkets as giveaways,” O’Connell said. “All that money will go toward Dig Pink and breast cancer research.”

According to coach O’Connell, Oswego State will wear its pink uniforms throughout the month.

“We will wear our pink jerseys,” O’Connell said. “The girls love wearing them and you might see a lot more of them in the future.”

The women’s ice hockey is set to host “Pink the Rink” in February in support of breast cancer. With all the events hosted by the Oswego State athletic department, it is obvious that the school is trying to make a difference.

“I think our administration, from President (Deborah) Stanley right down to our athletic director have been very supportive over the years of all the cancer projects,” Ed Gosek said. “It’s awesome that the athletes get involved to help build awareness on campus.”

 

By Zach Gewelb and Seamus Lyman