On the ice, the Yale women’s hockey team has struggled, winning just three games so far this season.
Off the ice, however, the team is making a big difference.
This Saturday’s game against Colgate marks the third annual “White Out for Mandi,” honoring Mandi Schwartz ’10, who died in 2011 after a 28-month-long battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
“As a freshman, it was clear on day one that Mandi was a very important part of our team,” said forward Paige Decker ’14, a co-organizer of the event.
The goal of the “White Out” is to fundraise for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation. Founded by former team captain Aleca Hughes ’12, the foundation supports youth hockey players with life-threatening injuries, and last year’s “White Out” raised over $25,000.
“Donations were constantly coming in,” Hughes said. “[Forming] the foundation seemed like the next natural step. Mandi’s story was larger than life, and she inspired us to continue her legacy as a means of helping others.”
Hughes will also be presented with the Mandi Schwartz Award for 2011–’12 at the game, which honors the top student-athlete in the ECAC. The prize will be awarded by Carol and Rick Schwartz, Mandi’s parents.
“Mandi’s legacy is [that of] an incredible person that you can learn so much from and [who can] inspire so many people,” Jenna Ciotti ’14 said. Ciotti is another co-organizer of the event, along with Adlon Adams ’15.
Fans are encouraged to wear white, and “White Out” T-shirts will be on sale today at Commons during lunch, as well as at both of the team’s games this weekend.
Ciotti said that the goal of the “White Out” is to raise awareness in both the Yale and New Haven communities about bone marrow donations and how to get involved in the foundation.
Decker said people can show support just by attending.
“Many people are pledging per spectator, so just by showing up … you will be donating towards our cause,” she said.
Saturday’s game has another sense of importance: The Bulldogs are looking to collect another league win against the Raiders, who they beat in October in the teams’ only other matchup.
“We need to put more shots on net and carry over the intensity and fire we brought to Brown to this weekend’s events,” forward Jamie Haddad ’16 said.
Haddad was given ECAC Rookie of the Week honors for her pair of second-period goals that led to the Brown defeat last Thursday.
“It definitely doesn’t change the way I think or play,” Haddad said. “I’m here to play hockey for myself and my teammates, not for any reward or recognition.”
The Elis will compete tomorrow night against No. 4 Cornell at 7 p.m. at Ingalls Rink. Saturday’s game versus Colgate is at 4 p.m.