Feisty in the field, at work and at play
Five times per week, including practices and games, Kristen Sarson (inset) trades in her hard hat, protective boots, and sampling containers for a football helmet, cleats, and playbook.
An environmental scientist at Littleton-based GeoInsight Inc., the former three-sport captain at Bedford High is a starting inside linebacker and special-teams player for the undefeated Boston Militia of the Women’s Football Alliance.
“I get kidded at work about how tough our game was that weekend based on how many bruises I have on my arms on Monday morning,’’ said the 24-year-old Sarson, who is in her third season with the Militia. Her team improved to 9-0 with Saturday’s 63-28 playoff victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Passion at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville.
Sarson, a varsity women’s lacrosse player at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., also played flag football for four years while attending college.
“The league in Canada allowed for contact only at the line of scrimmage, and I experienced that as a defensive end and center,’’ recalled the 5-foot-7, 170-pound Sarson, whose first tryout sessions with the Militia prior to its 2011 championship season were an eye-opener.
“The first time I got hit in full field contact drills I definitely wasn’t prepared for it,’’ she said. “But now I’m chipping in with a few tackles for losses and I’ve forced a fumble, so it’s nice to contribute.’’
The Medford resident has earned respect for her hard work and team-first attitude, at work and on the gridiron.
“Kristen’s a fearless player who can really deliver a hit,’’ said the team’s linebackers coach, Jim Gallotto. “But she’s also incredibly polite, to the point where she’ll say ‘Thanks’ when I help her correct a mistake.’’
GeoInsight colleagues Nicholas Doriean and Renee Strondak agree that it is great to have a pro football player at their side while conducting field tests.
“I can ask her to hike through the woods with gear on her back and you can see how fit she is for the task,’’ said Doriean, also an environmental scientist.
Strondak, a project geologist who played club rugby, said Sarson has a fearless attitude, “especially when we work at sites with no electricity and no running water. Kristen will always figure out a way to get her job done, and she brings that same intensity to playing football, because I’ve seen those bruises.’’
Born in Canada, Sarson moved with her family to England and then to Bedford when she was in sixth grade. She is a citizen of all three nations.
Her British accent led to the nickname “Beefy’’ being bestowed on her by Militia teammates.
“They also called me Fish and Chips, but Beefy, short for Beefeater Gin, was the one that stuck,’’ said Sarson.
A first-team Dual County League all-star in lacrosse and volleyball at Bedford High, she graduated from college in 2010 and began working at GeoInsight in October 2011.
Sarson’s memorabilia at her cubicle include a British flag and a photo from the Militia’s 2011 championship year.
Her parents, Gary and Moira, never miss a home game, and her younger sister, Lauren, a former high school volleyball teammate, watches via the Internet from South Carolina.
“Playing volleyball and lacrosse prepared me for the team environment, but football is different because I rarely if ever touch the ball,’’ said Sarson. “Being part of the Militia is everything I had hoped for and more.’’
The team’s CEO and founder is automobile dealer Ernie Boch Jr. Players pay a league-low dues of $500 to defray expenses. Every new player receives a team equipment bag and a warm-up suit. Road game costs, including bus, hotel and lunch, are covered by the team.
The Militia continue their quest for the WFA title July 13 at Dilboy against the DC Divas in third-round play. Round four is July 25, and the championship game is Aug. 3 in San Diego, Calif.
Former Newton teammates off to Israel
Sophie Bikofsky (inset) and Chloe Rothman , former teammates at Newton South High and with the Bay State Jaguars AAU basketball program, are members of the US women’s open team that will compete at the Maccabiah Games next month in Israel.
They helped lead Newton South to a 21-2 record, and a 16-0 mark in the Dual County League, as seniors in 2011.
The 5-foot-11 Bikofsky was a Globe All-Scholastic selection and a McDonald’s All-America nominee for her senior season at Newton South. This winter, she averaged 8.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game playing for Brown University.
The 5-foot-8 Rothman, a DCL All-Star in 2011, averaged 12.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 4.3 assists at Merrimack College this winter.
The US team leaves for Israel on July 6 in preparation for the Maccabiah Games, which will be held July 17 through 30.
Newton resident Sherry Levin , the girls’ basketball coach at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, will coach the US junior girls’ team in Israel.
St. Michael’s College to honor Allan
Norfolk native Jessica Allan is among five individuals selected for induction Sept. 20 to the Saint Michael’s College Athletic Hall of Fame.
“I’m surprised and very honored,’’ said Allan, the city planner in Easthampton. “Volleyball was a huge part of my college experience and I have lifelong friends from that team.’’
One of the most dominant attackers in the history of the women’s volleyball program at the Vermont school, Allan (class of 1995) graduated as the team’s career kills leader (931), and at the time of her induction will rank second in program history in kills and third in hitting percentage (.282).
A four-sport athlete at Bishop Feehan High in North Attleborough, she was introduced to volleyball as a freshman, played as a reserve on the school’s state girls’ championship team as a sophomore, and was team captain her senior year.