Littleton Product Shines in Her Field
By Marisa Ingemi
Special to The Sun
BOSTON -- Emily Field never imagined playing professional women’s hockey.
In fact, before college, she didn’t play a ton of women’s hockey at all.
Without girls programs in her hometown of Littleton, the Boston Pride forward ended up playing for boys teams growing up.
“It’s a small town,” she said. “The sports in general are good, but there was no girls hockey growing up. I played for a boys team in Westford.”
For high school, she had to play in Concord for Assabeth Valley, her first time with a girls team at her level. Before that, she skated with the boys team at her local middle school.
“Ice hockey for girls growing up was nonexistent,” she said.
That has changed locally for the area, with Littleton developing its own youth system years after Field has gone pro.
“Now, Littleton has its own girls (youth) team, which is a good sign of it growing,” said Field “I think me playing for the boys helped me personally with the style of play that I play today. Some of the boys game carries over.”
Field went on to star at Boston College before being selected to play professionally in her home state with the Boston Pride of the NWHL.
In the league’s third season, Field has become somewhat of a veteran. The Pride, who nearly went undefeated last season, lost eight players to Team USA, heading to the Olympics next month.
“I think my role has increased,” said Field. “Being a veteran, I have some experience in games where some people might not. Having veterans around, you need that diversity to improve the team as a whole.”
Field has had the benefit of playing in front of friends and family nearby throughout her career, and that hasn’t changed since going pro.
When the Pride take the ice each week at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, there’s a contingent of Field fans ready to cheer her on.
“I have a pretty big fan base of family and friends from back home,” she said. “It’s nice that they can come. They’ve supported me my whole career.”
Growing up, Field didn’t have many opportunities to play with other girls due to a cited lack of interest.
Now as a professional player, she skates side by side with some of the best women hockey players in the nation.
Needless to say, while she was lacing up the skates with boys, it’s not something she ever expected.
“Not for a women’s team,” said Field. “I always thought I’d play in the NHL as a kid. This is something I never really thought was possible. It was nothing I looked forward to because I never knew. But it’s a nice surprise.”