Sophomore Emma Welch knows some games just mean more than others. Soccer is important in life, but she understands the sport needs to take a back seat to bigger issues when they arise. Her Alabama teammates embody that same mind set.
Therefore, Thursday’s Power of Pink game against Georgia is about much more than simply which team wins or losses.
“My grandmother had breast cancer,” Welch said. “Every person on the team knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. It is really important to us.”
Power of Pink is the Crimson Tide’s annual game that raises awareness for victims of breast cancer. Across the athletics department, many of the female teams play one game a year in pink uniforms to raise awareness. This week it’s soccer.
With so many women being affected by the disease, Welch said it is hard not to care about this game a little more than others.
“We’ve circled this one on our calendar basically since the season began,” she said.
A big crowd is expected for the Crimson Tide’s matchup against the Bulldogs, with many other sports teams planning to show up and support the soccer team. Power of Pink outings usually bring Alabama’s athletics department and fans together for a great sense of unity.
“It brings the other teams together,” senior captain Caroline Alexander said. “It makes different athletes and students want to come out to these events.”
Ever since former gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson started the initiative in 2004, the Power of Pink soccer game has been one of Alabama’s biggest events each year. It may have started with gymnastics, but soccer adopted it just as well.
Welch believes the home crowd’s spirit has a large impact on how the soccer team approaches its games, especially when everyone is decked out in pink.
“Just to see an increase in fans really changes our whole perspective,” Welch said. “It really gets us all fired up, because we know that we are playing for a good cause.”
Along with it being the Power of Pink game for the Crimson Tide, the team will also honor its three seniors for their second-to-last home game. Jordan Meier, Auburn Mercer and Alexander will be recognized for their contributions.
With the combination of senior night and Power of Pink, emotions are sure to run high for Alabama. Playing with so much emotion can either help or hinder the team. Some players embrace it; some struggle to handle it.
Alexander is a player who embraces it.
“I think it makes it that much more real,” she said. “When there’s added pressure, that helps.”
Also, Alabama hasn’t lost to Georgia in the teams’ last five meetings. The Crimson Tide has recently lost three straight games, though, so a win over the Bulldogs could get it back on track.
Alexander believes this game is important to continue Alabama’s success against Georgia, which the Crimson Tide could build off of after the fact.
“Ever since I have been on the team we have beaten Georgia every single year,” she said. “It brings a little more intensity and added pressure to go out and get that result that we have in the past.”
Alabama’s Power of Pink game will kick off at 6 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the SEC Network.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports