By Nicole Taylor – 1851 Staff
Senior co-captain of the women’s rugby team Mary Jo Fisher played rugby in high school for two seasons and grew so fond of the sport that she decided to pursue it in college. Lasell, however, did not have a women’s rugby team when she arrived in the fall of 2013. “I made the decision to start from scratch and make a team to create a family-like environment here on campus,” said Fisher. The women’s rugby team was introduced in 2013, following the annual fall activities fair.
The team started out with just 10 players, and even that number dropped to five at one point, but it didn’t take long for things to change. In the 2014-2015 season, the team played its first 6-on-6 game against Framingham State. “It was meant to help us gain ‘on the field’ knowledge,” said Fisher. The women’s team has applied that knowledge and recently joined the New England Small College Rugby Conference as associate level members, meaning the team arranges their schedule instead of the NERCSC doing so. “It all finally fell into place this year,” said Fisher.
The team recently joined the Club and Individual Participation Program (CIPP). The CIPP provides insurance for players in the event of an injury. “Since many schools do not recognize rugby as an NCAA sport for liability reasons, having CIPP provides players with some comfort knowing they are covered for emergencies,” said Fisher.
Since becoming part of the CIPP, the women hold a record of 3-0 after capturing their third win on November 13.
“I cannot stress how amazing it felt to find out that we were going to be joining a league, and have our very own conference games,” said sophomore Amanda DePina.
It was not an easy start for the women’s rugby team. Having to find 15 committed players, gain funding for supplies and a coach, and struggle to fight the people who doubted them was difficult. “With the endless support of Sarah Richardson, our club advisor, the men’s rugby e-board, and the amazing women ruggers, it was all made possible,” said Fisher.
As the club expands and advances, the team of 26 hopes to someday win a championship. “More important than winning, I hope that Lasell College Women’s Rugby upholds the values that I tried to build it upon,” said Fisher. “It is more than a club. It is more than a team. We are family.”