Alumna shines in female football league

By By Nelly Ortiz, News Correspondent

Walking into Dilboy Stadium in Somerville on Tuesdays or Thursdays around 8 p.m., observers and fans watch the Boston Militia tackle football team practicing. The players run up and down the field for about two hours, and when practice ends, they make their way to the locker room. They take off their helmets and suddenly, unknowing observers often do a double take. The Militia are an all-female squad.
The Militia is a full-contact football team, part of the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL), which is made up of 41 teams across the United States with more than 1,600 participants.’
Northeastern alumna Allie Roderique, who graduated in 2008 with a psychology degree, is the team’s kicker. In the past, she has played the position of wide receiver, but this year, she said she’s focusing on kicking. Roderique is the first and only player in IWFL to be paid to play, she said, because coaches decided she was that good.
Roderique said she is planning to continue with the team ‘as long as my body lets me.’
For now, though, Roderique said she is mending her right knee from a reoccurring injury before the season starts April 18.
She was playing rugby at Northeastern when she first heard about the IWFL four years ago from a friend who plays for the Pittsburgh Passion, another IWFL team. She said she joined the Massachusetts Mutiny, then followed the team when it merged to create Boston Militia.
Team members are tight-knit, Roderique said.
‘These women are not just my teammates, they’re my friends,’ she said.
Roderique said the team looks forward to facing the New York Sharks, which she called the toughest team in its division, tying the Militia’s record last season at 6-2 to come in second in the IWFL eastern conference.
The team also aspires to continually increase interest in IWFL. Each year, it holds tryouts and, slowly, the number of women who show up increases. In the Boston Militia’s first year, the team had about 100 to 200 people in the crowd for one of their games. Last season, they had an average of 500 to 700 fans at Dilboy Stadium. They’re hoping for a bigger turnout this year and continue to increase the awareness of the league, Reynolds said.
Kimberly Boroyan, the team’s running back, said teammates range in age from 20 to about 42. They practice twice a week with a youth-size football, the official football for the IWFL. During the off-season, teammates stay in contact, replacing their Tuesday and Thursday night practices with activities like bowling and karaoke.
Most people are supportive of the all-female team, she said.
‘Thankfully, people aren’t living in the past,’ Boroyan said.
The Boston Militia was created in 2007 when two local teams, Boston Rampage and Massachusetts Mutiny, merged, creating a powerhouse team for the Boston area. Car dealership owner Ernie Boch Jr. bought the team and worked alongside the veteran players to start up Boston Militia.
Maureen Reynolds of Somerville, the delegate for IWFL and the team’s offensive left, said Boch funded the team’s uniforms, equipment and Dilboy Stadium. The team’s coaches are all’ former football players, including three former New England Patriots players:’ 1987-1991 cornerback Derrick Beasley, 1987-1991 runningback Robert Perryman and 1997-2000 offensive linebacker Vernon Crawford.
The women who make up the Militia come from all areas of Massachusetts and some even come from Connecticut to play together, Reynolds said. The players are mothers, accountants, corrections officers and teachers, among other professions.
The team is working toward making the playoffs this year and ultimately the championship game in Texas, Reynolds said.

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