BLOG - Breakers Unlaced: What Comes Next

The 2015 season for the Boston Breakers is quickly wrapping up as the team goes on the road for their final three games at Kansas City, Seattle, and Houston. Only four teams from the National Women’s Soccer League, (NWSL) will get to advance to playoffs, but the Breakers aren’t done as they hope to find results on the road to move up the ranks of the league. While the team continues to compete, I sat down with starting left back, Mollie Pathman, to discuss her plans come this fall.

What Comes Next

By Katie Ponce I Aug. 20, 2015

The 2015 season for the Boston Breakers is quickly wrapping up as the team goes on the road for their final three games at Kansas City, Seattle, and Houston. Only four teams from the National Women’s Soccer League, (NWSL) will get to advance to playoffs, but the Breakers aren’t done as they hope to find results on the road to move up the ranks of the league. While the team continues to compete, I sat down with starting left back, Mollie Pathman, to discuss her plans come this fall.

The NWSL regular season runs from April to August. Teams report to preseason in March and playoffs continue into September, but during the other five plus months of the year, the women who make up the women’s professional league need to find another way to make an income and still stay in game shape. Pathman is getting ready for her second offseason and shared with me how she plans to once again make sure she’s ready for next season.

Last year, after being a third-round college draft pick and making 21 appearances for the Boston Breakers, Pathman traveled to Cyprus in the offseason. She played in the Cypriot First Division for Apollon Limassol.  There, she got to appear in two UEFA Women’s Champions League matches for Apollon.

Although Pathman was only there for a month, “the experience was a lot of fun and it was a nice way to get game experience during the offseason,” she said.

After spending time abroad, Mollie went back to her college town and trained with Duke’s men’s and women’s soccer teams. At Duke, Pathman was a two-time All-ACC Second Team selection with 29 career assists, ranking her in third in Duke history. This year, although she will not be going back abroad, Pathman will be returning to Duke to train with the men’s and women’s soccer teams again. When the season ends, and the Breakers all part ways, it is difficult to not have a team to train with. While it is unfortunate the NWSL can’t keep the team together all year round, Pathman gave me her advice on how individuals in the league can best train in their time away.

“Find a new way to train,” she said. “It is hard to get games in, and it’s even difficult to continuously train with people at a high level. I choose to train with the boys when I can because playing with better players will make you better. Their increased speed of play helps to sharpen mine.”

Planning to come back next season, Pathman’s soccer plans are set to prepare her for the 2016 season. However, soccer is not the only part of her plans. The NWSL is still new and growing, but currently during the offseason, players must make their own plans for a source of income. This added pressure makes continuing to play even more difficult for the professionals.

“This upcoming offseason, I will be working at Active Edge. It’s a gym, but I get to do some of the business aspects. I help out with office management,” she said. “My main source of income though is in training individuals [in soccer sessions].”

Being a women’s professional soccer player in this country isn’t the typical lifestyle we assume when we think of being a professional athlete. Athletes must not only find a way to train on their own, but they also have to find their own alternative to make money. This makes being a part of the league not all the glamour of getting to play a sport you love for a living. Really, the girls of the NWSL give up a certain lifestyle to do what they love.

“It’s definitely hard because you can’t get a real job,” Pathman said. “All of [the girls on the team] have degrees, but it’s hard to try and only work for six months. We also have to prioritize training so we have to flexible schedules.”

I think we can all learn from Mollie’s story and the rest of the players of the league. After college, while most of us plan and plan to follow the norm and stay within our comfort zones of what we’re ‘supposed’ to do, the players of the NWSL are making sacrifices to continue to play. The same sacrifices are the hard work that is growing the league and inspiring their fans to dream big. 

Mollie Pathman vs. FC Kansas City

Stay tuned to see what Mollie Pathman and the rest of the Boston Breakers do in their offseason. The girls are making plans to get ready for 2016, so make sure you’re coming back out to see all the hard work and time they are putting in for next season. The Boston Breakers 2016 season tickets are already on sale! Fans that order before October 1st will receive 20 percent back in Breakers bucks. Log on now to learn more so you don’t miss your chance to part of all the action next year at Solider Stadium. Continue to see great deals like this one by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Also check out the Breakers YouTube channel because although the Breakers don’t return home this season you can watch their final three games on the road.

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