Emily Raia '24 Named All-American by National Collegiate Rugby

Emily Raia '24 Named All-American by National Collegiate Rugby

National Collegiate Rugby All-American is a prestigious recognition awarded to the top players in collegiate rugby.

Standout senior Emily Raia ’24 has been named a National Collegiate Rugby All-American, a prestigious recognition awarded to the top players in collegiate rugby. Raia's exceptional talent and dedication have propelled her to the national stage and brought pride and excitement to the Fairfield rugby community. Announced on February 1, this marks the first time a Fairfield woman’s rugby player has achieved this incredible feat. 

This isn't just an individual accomplishment; it's a landmark moment for Fairfield Rugby, showcasing the program's rising talent and potential. Raia's dedication and skill have not only earned her national recognition but also inspired her teammates and ignited a passion for the sport within the Fairfield community. Growing up playing rugby her entire life, being “able to represent [her] team as a player and now have this title represent all our efforts is a great accomplishment.”

Recognizing the sport as her passion, Raia views the title as a powerful validation of her "passion for the sport." As she puts it, "Every time I stepped on the field, I was empowered to compete at my best level, not only for my team but because that is how I show my respect for the sport. Being named a top rugby player in the nation is momentous for me as it also feels like I have physical documentation of how much enjoyment I derive when playing rugby and representing my teammates." This prestigious honor goes beyond mere recognition; it embodies the sheer joy she finds in the game and the dedication she pours into every match.

Raia's path to All-American glory wasn't merely paved with trophies, but with the grit and determination that defines a true champion. Beating opponent Vassar College on Alumni & Family Weekend, stands as a testament to her competitive spirit, while her unwavering commitment to honing her skills both on and off the field cemented her All-American status. Even setbacks like a broken nose couldn't deter her, showcasing a resilience that inspires aspiring athletes everywhere. Raia was convinced to try out for rugby while other club sports were on pause due to Covid-19, and because of this she ended up meeting “some of my best friends," she reflects, "and the privilege of learning from three amazing coaches." The opportunity to play rugby has also allowed her to mentor younger players.

Learn more about Fairfield’s club sports at fairfield.edu/recplex.

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