MEQUON, Wis. – The first-ever Concordia University Wisconsin Field Hockey game was a success for many reasons. The Falcons played in front of 806 fans, the second largest crowd in Division III Field Hockey history. The Falcons won the game 6-0. The biggest reason it was a success, however, was the Falcons were able to donate to a cause close to the Concordia University Wisconsin Athletics family.
CUW Played for Lilly last Friday, competing for student-athlete Lilly Johnson, a member of the cross country team who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma last spring. Rather than charge admission to the contest, the Falcons collected donations and raised $381.40 to go towards Lilly and her fight.
"The game on Friday was exhilarating for the CUW Field Hockey team," said Field Hockey head coach Samantha Landis. "We knew we were going to get a large crowd but didn't know that it would be over 800. The team was beyond prepared to show our fans just how hard we've been working to build this program from the ground up and to simply illustrate how the game is played. Part of the team's excitement and motivation came from knowing that they are playing for a bigger cause, to help a member of our Falcon Family. It was very rewarding to be able to use our sport to help donate to Lilly's fund. We would also like to thank our fans as well as Lindenwood Belleville for donating to Lilly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lilly during her fight as well as our constant support!"
The Falcons Cross Country team has been Running for Lilly all season, and they have been amazed at the support from programs across the athletic department. Head coach Russ De Lap issued his thoughts on how CUW has come together to help support Lilly.
"The support of our field hockey team, as well as the CUW community, has been inspiring," stated De Lap. "The leadership role Coach Landis took on supporting Lilly with her only home game was a selfless gesture. What an awesome sense of service and Lilly was blown away by what the field hockey team did. It is this type of giving to others that makes CUW a special place to be."
CUW has shown to be a special place, and the continued support the athletic programs show one another helps showcase just how special it really is. Lilly Johnson also shared her thoughts and knowing she has the support has helped as she continues her fight.
"Everyone faces adversity throughout their life, but it is how you deal with that adversity that makes you stronger," said Johnson. "It is not that it is going to be easy but if you have hope and love from people around you, it makes it a lot better. I have had a lot of positive and extremely kind people in my life, and that has made everything easier. "