COLUMBIA — Purple is the new pink, at least for Stephens College soccer team.
While sports teams all over the country are wearing pink throughout October in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Stars decided to do something different on Wednesday during their match against Lyon College.
They wore purple — the color of Hodgkin's lymphoma awareness.
The decision to trade in their pink clothing for purple accessories was simple. Every woman on the team wore a headband made from purple athletic pre-wrap and had purple face paint where normal eye black would go.
"Other teams, like volleyball, do pink outs, but we decided to do a purple out because it was for a cause that hit home," senior captain Elsie Vieira said. "We're a new team, supporting a new cause."
Vieira and sophomore midfielder Polly Mytinger, are members of Stephens' Zeta Upsilon chapter of the Kappa Delta sorority.
Last month, they learned that one of their sorority sister's biological sister was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that affects the lymph tissue found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver or other sites.
Amelia Carter, a junior at Stephens, has been a member of Kappa Delta since the fall of her freshman year in 2010. Her sister Lauren Carter was diagnosed with Hodgkin's over Labor Day weekend.
Since learning of her sister's disease, Amelia Carter said it's been hard to focus on her classwork, sorority life and everything else she has going on in her schedule.
Luckily, her sisters in Kappa Delta have been a good support system during this trying time, making sure that she stays positive despite constantly worrying about her sister's health.
She also said she was pleased when her sorority sister Vieira approached her on Sunday and told her the soccer team would be wearing purple at their next game in honor of her sister.
"It's sweet that they did this," Amelia Carter said. "It means a lot to me."
While the players wore accessories, the crowd showed their support by showing up in purple T-shirts and jackets.
Monetary donations were also collected from those in attendance. Proceeds will be sent to the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, N.C., where Lauren Carter is receiving treatment.
Although the Stars lost the match 24-0 to Lyon, Stephens coach Xander Kennedy said that he was happy with the first-year team because the effort to raise awareness for Hodgkin's lymphoma shows the team is building character.
"Despite what the scoreboard says, we're developing and progressing individually," Kennedy said.
Stephens College will play its final home game of the season at 3 p.m. Thursday at Cosmo Park, Field #2 against Hannibal-LaGrange University.
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.