Pink balloons. Check. Pink wrist bands. Check. Pink jerseys. Check. $4,400 to breast cancer research. Bingo.

While the Archbishop Spalding High field hockey team claimed a 2-1 overtime victory over Seton Keough, Friday, there were multiple winners in a very successful third annual Play 4 The Cure event.

“It is really special because we all love the game of field hockey, and if we can play while helping others, it just makes it better,” said Spalding junior Kelsey Bonner, who scored the game winner in overtime.

Seton Keough’s Lauren Skierski opened the game with a goal for the 1-0 lead early in the first half, but the tying goal from the Cavs’ sophomore Sabrina Davis nearing halftime would lead to the eventual overtime period.

“We won, that’s the good news,” Spalding head coach Leslee Brady laughed.  “Actually the Susan G. Komen Foundation was the winner tonight, regardless of who won the game.

We had probably 20 corners. We kept saying one would go in, but we didn’t think it would be in overtime.”

The Play 4 The Cure game between the two schools raised $4,400 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation: Seton Keough sold “places of honor” on the back of their jerseys, while the Cavalier girls sold sponsorships to have the names of those affected by the cancer honored with pink balloons that surrounded the field and bleachers.

Seton Keough head coach Tom Jester said the fundraising goal was $2,000, but with donations being accepted in lieu of an admission, the event more than doubled its goal for the Komen Foundation.

“We have done it now for three years, and I think it has gained in a following recently. It used to be a daytime game but we made it a big event here,” Brady said, explaining that the previous years saw intakes of $500 to $1,000.

“We really, really promoted it, and you guys and the Baltimore Sun really helped in making it what it is.”

Brady, whose daughter, Kat Nepp, is her assistant coach, had the pleasure of working the overtime win over her other daughter, Maureen Doran, who was assisting Jester on the Seton Keough side of the field.

kelsey bonner“I am very proud that both my girls want to be coaches,” Brady said. “There is a little sibling rivalry and a couple emails flying back and forth this week. Somebody I loved was going to win this game today.”

The sibling rivalry went further than e-mails, Friday, as the two sisters partook in some “competitive chatter” on the sidelines.

“I like playing against them,” Doran said of coaching against her family. “My mom was my coach, so coaching against her is an interesting experience, and my sister and I are five years apart, so we never got to play with each other. It does make the outcome a little tricky to bear either way.”

The Gators of the IAAM B (8-1) dropped just their second loss of 2010 and will play Park on Tuesday, while the A Conference Cavaliers (7-2-1) were able to notch another win to their record before playing Glenelg Country School the same day.

“Spalding is in a higher conference, and, by numbers, they are a superior team, so our girls look up to them a lot,” Doran explained. “So to take this game, which could be very stressful and very competitive, which it was, it also made it about something and kept the focus to where it should be instead of just freaking our girls out.”

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Christina Mohs