The Rusty Sharks Women’s Field Hockey

BSSC’s recreational sports leagues will be taking to the fields all over the Boston area this week, and not a moment too soon after a long and cold winter. We often get questions about what it’s like to play with BSSC. While the experience varies from team to team (we have over a dozen sports to choose from this season), we thought it would be fun to highlight one of our favorite teams in one of our fastest growing programs, Women’s Field Hockey.

A few years ago, we started to get lots of requests for field hockey, so we took a leap of faith and learned the true meaning of, “If you build it, they will come.” In just the past two years, the league has grown 200%, with hundreds of women of varying playing experience every season, both indoor and outdoor. So today, we’re putting the spotlight on The Rusty Sharks, a fabulous women's field hockey team that has played with us for the past two years and will be starting outdoor play at Harvard this month!

The ladies who started The Rusty Sharks two years ago were all former Simmons players, so they named the team after their alma mater’s mascots—The Sharks—and added the adjective because they hadn’t played in about 10 years! They quickly gained a diverse team of women with varied levels of experience—from high school play all the way through to varsity college play—and a wide variety of personal and professional backgrounds.

“We come from all walks of life, which is really exciting,” says team captain Marisa. The team includes photographers, graphic designers, marketing professionals, students and a few people in medicine. “Friendships have definitely come. After a few email threads, the next thing you know, I’m running half marathons, having movie nights, going to art shows and learning how to knit from these girls. If you’re not from the area, it is hard to make grown-up friends. Playing a recreational sport puts you in contact with people who have at least one common interest with you!”

Caroline, a freelancer who works from home a lot, says it’s been a great way to meet people she otherwise would not have. The team and their individual groups of friends have become enmeshed with book clubs, movie nights and going out for St. Patrick’s Day, for example. When one teammate ran the 2013 Boston Marathon, many others came to support her through the race and wound up searching for her in the difficult aftermath of the race as well.

Marisa loves the competitive spirit that the team inspires, no matter the level of play. “It’s great just to be playing field hockey again, but we have a good team that motivates me to play every week,” she says. “It’s the right balance of intensity and fun!”

“One thing that’s great about our team is that there is such a wide variety of skills,” says player Caroline, who started playing with The Rusty Sharks after seeing a post about the team from a friend online. “The girls are from all over Boston. Some coach, some play at a higher level, and some are playing just for fun.”

The team’s also been great socially and professionally for Caroline, a freelance graphic designer, thanks in large part to the dedication to grabbing a beer with the team after each game. Caroline, who works with field hockey equipment team Cranbarry, has been able to provide BSSC with exclusive discounts and has tested new gear on the team. She’s also collaborated with teammates on other projects, including one to create "Rusty Sharks" gear!

“We head to the bar after the game, and there’s lots of advice on job changes, networking, talking through different projects and things like that,” says Caroline.

Marisa and Caroline look forward to playing on Harvard’s turf fields this spring with The Rusty Sharks. “BSSC has made it really easy to have a relaxed and fun league and play every week,” says Marisa. “The Rusty Sharks have not missed a season in two years and we get sad when we have ‘bye’ weeks. We cannot get enough of it!”

For more information about BSSC’s spring sports program, visit www.bssc.com.