Introduction of Lisa Raffin, presented by Taylor Meek, Class of 2018 and Women's Lacrosse Team member, Jamie Corley, Class of 2019 and Women's Soccer Team member, and Lilly Paro, Class of 2020 and Women's Basketball Team member
Title IX of the Education Amendments, which is the landmark federal civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, was passed on June 23, 1972. Thanks to that very important legislation, athletic opportunities for women began to increase all around our nation and here at Tufts in the 1970’s and the early 1980’s.
One Jumbo student-athlete in particular took full advantage of those opportunities, and her name is Lisa Raffin. During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, some incredibly talented female student-athletes were competing at Tufts, but none were as dynamic, exciting and accomplished across multiple sports as Lisa. Lisa played three different sports during her time at Tufts – soccer, basketball and lacrosse – and she excelled at every one of them.
When Lisa first put on a soccer uniform for Tufts in 1980, the women’s soccer program at Tufts was only in its second year of existence. As a first-year, Lisa led the team in scoring with 11 goals and four assists.
“We were fortunate to have her on our team,” her coach Bill Gehling said. “Lisa was strong, quick, had great game intelligence and possessed a real instinct for the goal.”
Lisa would go on to lead the women’s soccer team in scoring every season she played. She graduated as the all-time leader in all three scoring categories with 51 goals, 22 assists and 124 points. That record still stands strong today – in fact, she has 39 more career points than her closest pursuer.
My head coach, Carla Berube, would have loved Lisa as a basketball player, especially on defense. Lisa was the career leader at Tufts in both steals and assists until very recently, and in fairness to Lisa, she played only 75 games in her basketball career compared to more than 100 played by today’s Jumbos. And Lisa was solid on both sides of the ball -- she scored 953 career points with a points-per-game average just under 13. A two-year captain of the women’s basketball team, it’s just incredible to think about what a complete player she was.
The women’s lacrosse team was only lucky enough to have Lisa for a single season, but what did Lisa accomplish in one short year? Well, she was second on the team in scoring and helped lead the Jumbos to a New England championship.
For all of her achievements in athletics at Tufts, Lisa received the Rudy Fobert Award for best multi-sport athlete in 1982.