By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr
October 7, 2021
The crowd was large Thursday night at Ocean Township High School as the varsity girls soccer team hosted Marlboro in the 10th Annual Mya Cup. The game went to double overtime with Marlboro taking the 3-2 victory.
The Mya Cup is a fundraising event that was organized in 2012 By Gabby Hagerman, who was a sophomore on the varsity soccer team at the time, along with her teammates. They knew of a young girl, May Lin Terry, who was in fifth grade at the township intermediate school. She loved soccer but was suffering from a rare form of cancer.
Red Bank Catholic was the opponent for that first game, and both schools participated in a fundraiser. The Spartans won the game and the money was donated to May, who was being treated at St. Jude Hospital at the time. Sadly, Mya who fought so hard for five and half years, lost her battle and passed on April 10, 2013.
Her spirit, strength and positivity impacted hundreds of lives. Since the time of her passing, thousands have now been impacted by Mya Lin Terry Foundation. It was created by Mya’s mom, Kelly Irvin and her sister Kasey Pickett. The non-profit foundation has one goal, to enrich the lives of pediatric cancer patients with hope, love and joy.
Kelly and Kasey have also devoted a lot of time to create awareness of horrible childhood cancers. The May Linn Foundation also generates resources and helps identify causes and supports new treatment options leading to cures.
Over the past eight years, Kelly and Kasey have learned of many children from the Township of Ocean and surrounding area that are suffering from cancer. On their website, www.themyalinterryfoundation.org is a page dedicated to the 165 children the foundation has helped in honor and memory of Mya.
Daniel Huerta, 26, was born in Lima, Peru but raised in Ocean Township. A few months ago he was diagnosed with Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma, a rare and aggressive sinus cancer. Currently Daniel is being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering and New York Proton Center. He is the recipient and honoree at the 2022 Mya’s Cup. An avid soccer fan, Daniel was on hand for the game as were several other past May Lin Terry Warriors.
Kelly and Kasey are both touched by the amount of support that is generated year after year. The soccer game is much more than an everyday match-up for the Spartans. It was obvious when Marlboro scored the winning goal during the second overtime, many of the Spartans were teary eyed. Juliet Nies, junior goalkeeper for the Spartans, was extremely upset that the winning shot passed her. A loss is tough, but losing the May Cup, the players seem to feel they let down Mya Linn.
“We are all winners tonight regardless of the score. Creating awareness, generating funds and helping those in need,” said Kelly. Many of the township youth recreational soccer teams were in attendance with lots of ball girls along the sidelines. “Look at this crowd and all the volunteers. This is what tonight is about.”
Marlboro had three players score, Samantha Kaplan, Camryn McClean, and Emila O’Hare. In the goal was Anna Haeusser who had three saves. The win gives Marlboro a 5-5 record.
Natalie Feniger and Abigail Desmarais were the two Spartans who had goals. Nies had a great game in goal making five saves. With the loss Ocean is 4-8 on the season.
Click on the photo for the captions.