Growing up, Kelly Kryzak was seen just as, if not more, aggressive than the boys she faced off against in lacrosse. It wasn’t until she found rugby that she truly let out her aggression.
Kryzak, current junior at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, entered college playing lacrosse. She switched sports once one of her teammates on the lacrosse team, also a rugby player, saw her potential. “I continued to play lacrosse at UMass Dartmouth where a fellow teammate who was also on the rugby team saw my potential as a rugby player and asked me to try it out. I joined the team fall of my sophomore year and I instantly fell in love with the game. I was always too aggressive for the lacrosse field and rugby is the only sport where it’s acceptable to hit the other team really hard,” said Kryzak.
Since making the switch to rugby, the bio engineering major hasn’t regretted her decision in the slightest. She loves every minute playing for her team. “Playing rugby at UMass Dartmouth is a great experience. The women’s motto this season has been 15 as 1. We have all become so close this season and it will be very sad not seeing each other every day as we have all semester,” she continued. “The entire club (men’s and women’s team) is like a family. We support each other at the games, we hang out together during school and over breaks, and sometimes we practice together.”
Going to play for at nationals is something no player will ever forget. The game that put UMass-Dartmouth into nationals falls under Kryzak’s favorite rugby moment. “I was awarded the last try of the game but at this time no one knew exactly how much time was left in the game. I took the kick, made the conversion and I was the first one on the team to hear the game was over. Then everyone swarmed the field. Our men’s team from the sidelines all came out to celebrate and congratulate us. This was the greatest feeling in the entire world, we all realized that we won and that we would be moving onto nationals. This season the women have formed an indescribable bond, and we all felt it in that moment.
UMass-Dartmouth heads to Charlotte, North Carolina to play in the NSCRO national playoffs. The semi finals will take place on Saturday, December 5th and the finals will be the following day on Sunday December 6th. Tune into Gift-Time Rugby Network to watch the semi-finals (here) and the finals (here).