FC Kansas City midfielder Kristie Mewis is 1,500 miles away from her hometown of Hanson, Mass., a suburb of Boston, but she felt the stinging effects of the chaos sifting through New England over the past five days.
By SAM McDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
While Mewis trained with her FC Kansas City teammates at the Overland Park Soccer Complex on Friday afternoon, her former classmates at Boston College were forbidden to leave campus. Her parents still live only 30 miles south of Boston.
Events that have unsettled the nation began Monday with bombings at the Boston Marathon, an event Mewis attended every year while growing up. She called the annual race an important day in Boston’s culture — one that was interrupted by tragedy this week.
“It’s very dramatic and very sad,” Mewis said. “The hardest part is I don’t really know what to do. I feel helpless. I have a bunch of family and friends back there. It’s tough to hear.”
With the ensuing disruption in Cambridge, Watertown and other Boston suburbs, Mewis said she used soccer as an escape from the tragic events.
Not Saturday. FC Kansas City’s home game against the Boston Breakers was canceled because of increased security measures in New England.
The National Women’s Soccer League game was scheduled for 7:35 p.m. Saturday at Shawnee Mission North District Stadium. No makeup date has been set.
“Due to increased security measures that have impacted travel from the area, we have made the decision to reschedule this weekend’s game between Kansas City and the Breakers,” NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey said in a statement. “We believe the best course of action would be to allow the Boston staff and players to remain home during this difficult time.”
FC Kansas City, which opened its inaugural season with a 1-1 draw against Portland last week, supported the league’s decision.
“We feel that right now, the folks in Boston have more important things to be concerned with than a soccer game,” FCKC president Brian Budzinski said in a statement. “We stand Boston Strong with the Breakers players, staff and the citizens of Boston right now and send our thoughts and prayers to all who are affected by this tragedy.”
That certainly includes Mewis, who spent her childhood in Hanson and her college years playing soccer at Boston College.
Mewis said she continues to communicate often with former teammates and family, who spent most of Friday bottled up inside their homes. The Boston College students she spoke to early Friday morning were unable to leave their dorm rooms to even grab lunch, Mewis said.
Instead, they spent the morning glued to the TV sets.
Back in the Midwest, Mewis did the same.
“That’s my city, so it’s tough to hear that my friends and family are going through this and my city is going through this,” Mewis said. “It’s hard to be here and not be with my family back there.”
“I’m trying to give as much support as I can, but all I can do it keep in contact and make sure everybody’s OK. It’s tough.”