Becka May ’11: Understudy to an Olympian
During her four years at Gordon, Becka May ’11 traveled with fellow music majors to perform in Italy, served in a variety of ways for the La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership, and played on the Gordon Women’s Softball team and the Club Ice Hockey team. Now, she finds herself back on the ice, but in a new position—professional goalie.
Though she was a forward on Gordon’s Club Ice Hockey team, May found herself playing goalie in a pick-up league after graduating. Goalies could play in the league free of charge, and her friend’s father happened to have gear she could use. Eager for time on the ice, she stuck it out in the goal—and discovered an affinity for the position. “It’s one of those things where you find your niche and you’re really good at it, so you stay with it,” May says.
After initially dismissing the idea of playing professionally, May went online to search for professional women’s hockey teams, and found the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. A trek across the northern border for tryouts yielded success: The Boston Blades liked what they saw and invited her to play professionally.
“It was crazy because I had only been playing in goal for a short time, so I wasn’t expecting too much,” May says. Today, she plays as needed in place of the Blades’ starting goalie, Genevieve Lacasse, a Canadian gold medalist from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Playing for the Blades has “opened my eyes to the idea that you’re not just one thing; you’re many things. And you may think, ‘Oh, I’m not talented enough.’ But come to find out, you really are,” she says. It’s a lesson she can trace back to her days working at Gordon’s Adventure Camp and in the Discovery program, where she learned not to box herself in, but to be open to new perspectives and opportunities.
May reflects, “You may have a perspective on your life, but just turn it a little bit to the left and see if it changes things. It’s not saying, ‘Hey, I’ve only played hockey for three years, why bother trying?’ Instead, saying, ‘Hey, I’ve only been playing hockey for a few years, but I’m pretty good. If they take me, they take me. If they don’t, they don’t.’ It’s giving God control. If he’s going to shut the door and say, ‘Nope, that’s not where I want you,’ then let him shut the door. But if not, seize the opportunities that come.”
Before May became an understudy to an Olympian, her humble hockey beginnings at Gordon involved late-night, non-checking hockey games in Malden, the closest rink at the time. Since then, Gordon’s Club Hockey team has joined the American Collegiate Hockey Association and now has a local home rink just down the street at Endicott College’s Bourque Arena, where they celebrated a win in their inaugural game on Saturday, October 1.
By Dan Simonds ’17, communication arts