Bomba’s father, Dennis, encouraged Sam to make the switch to girls hockey after her sophomore year.
“The one thing that killed her was playing with the boys,” Dennis Bomba said.
“College coaches don’t want to come see a girl play on a boys team. The game slows down with girls. After her sophomore year, she knew she would have to quit playing with the boys if she wanted to play in college, and she didn’t do it. She liked playing with the boys.”
Bomba didn’t receive an offer to play in college after having one of the best seasons of any goaltender in the Cape Ann League last winter. Her goalie coach, Rob Day, encouraged her to join the Shamrocks in hopes that Bomba would showcase her skills for college coaches looking for a postgraduate player.
Bomba is one of only two postgraduate players on the Shamrocks U16/U19 roster, while the rest of the players are still in high school. U16/19 coach Molly Corl has been impressed with Bomba’s attitude considering the 19-year-old is one of the oldest players on a struggling team.
“Right away, we could tell she would be good for us this season,” Corl said. “She’d been playing with boys her whole life, and it’s a bit of a transition, but it was to her advantage. She’s doing really well. She’s kept us in a lot of games.”
Bomba took classes at Northern Essex Community College during the fall semester, but found the Shamrocks weekend travel schedule conflicted with classes.
She is taking this semester off while working at Latitude’s Gym with the hope of returning to school next fall.
“My thinking coming into the season was that I’d find a college team to play for,” Bomba said.
“At this point, I’m not entirely sure it’s heading in that direction. I wouldn’t have changed anything about this year. I do want to go back to school, so there’s a chance this could be my last year of hockey. I always say I might as well play while I’m young because it doesn’t last forever.”