Butler County

Fans, friends, former Olympians fill stands to support heckled Mars female goalie

CRANBERRY, Pa. — Fans, friends and former Olympians filled the stands of the Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry to support a female goalie from Mars High School who was heckled and sexually harassed at a recent game.

>>>RELATED: Penguins invited Mars High School hockey team to Saturday game against Minnesota

Mars moved their game from the home rink to open the game up to more supporters, at the invitation of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The team was invited to the Penguins game at PPG Paints Arena over the weekend.

Channel 11 reported about complaints and concerns after the Armstrong student section was seen and heard chanting derogatory words at the Mars goalie, including references to tampons and female body parts. Despite the girl being seen on the ice in tears, the arena full of spectators did nothing to stop the behavior.

“It’s pretty, pretty cool. Every time she makes a save this place goes nuts!” said Olympian Brianne McLaughlin-Bittle.

Fans cheered on the Mars goalie with signs. There were chants, but they were a complete 180 from anything she experienced on the ice a week ago.

“Just seeing what happened was really disappointing. As a Mars community, it’s our responsibility to support everyone,” said Delaney Butzine.

The thunderous cheers came from a sold out arena as more than 800 people packed the stands.