Standing by the side of the field, watching, knitting, cheering, melting in the heat, soaking in the rain, the thought of playing soccer had yet to occur to me. I'd played competitive sports in my youth. Long gone are those days. Knowing practice for my then young sons would be the key to the joys of sport my husband and I took to the field after school, on weekends and eventually, Sunday Family Soccer was born. It started with a few like minded families chatting on the sidelines, and became a community email chain sent in the late hours of Saturday evening...fishing everyone out of bed for a friendly Sunday morning match. Parents played alongside kids, ages ranged from 4 to 80. It was invigorating for all. It sparked my fever for soccer. We started watching. We upgraded our channel package to include world soccer, we dragged our kids up the street to watch local colleges compete - while alas our kids played in the woods. The game became familiar. And then came the Women's World Cup 2015. I watched every match, live and recorded. My knitting group planned a weekend away to watch the group stage matches. We moved from hotel lobby big screen, to pub to local knitting shops and back again. It was riveting. The whole world was celebrating women and soccer. As we watched the US draw against Sweden in their first match, I was searching online for local soccer leagues. At the end of the weekend, I announced to my pals, that tomorrow, I was joining a soccer league. All the watching was over. Never mind that I hadn't played. Never mind that I was active, but not 90 minutes active. I found Eastern Massacusetts Women's Soccer League and Massave Attack welcomed me to play. Four years and many matches later, I have played Spring, Summer and Fall soccer with an amazing group of women. We've had awesome seasons, and utterly atrocious ones as well, and yet our reason to be out on the pitch is the same, for the love of the game and a chance to slip away from everything in the world and play.
written by Kate Painter, Massave Attack
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