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Our Coaches

Taro Yamashita

Lisa Wolf

Will Lawrie

Ben Nield

Laura Mastronardi

Head Coach Taro Yamashita

Lisa Wolf, PhD, RN, CEN, FAEN
Will Lawrie

Ben Nield

Photo coming soon.

Head coach Taro Yamashita has a passion for teaching and coaching fencing. Understanding that the ideas given to a beginner are the foundations upon which champions are built, Taro is actively engaged in teaching all students at all levels of their development.

The teams and individuals Taro has worked with have achieved wonderful successes, from simply having a great time fencing to earning medals in local, regional, national, and international competitions.

Coach Yamashita competed for Brown University in both foil and epee from 1990-1994, where he enjoyed both individual and team success. In his post-college fencing career, Taro was ranked as high as #34 in the USA and #302 in the world in men's epee (2001).

Taro has coached US National champions and World Team members in all weapons in the veteran (over 40) age categories.

Taro has coaching certifications from both the US Fencing Association, and the US Fencing Coaches Association.

Taro has coached at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), Brandeis University, MIT, Brown University, and Mt. Holyoke College. "Mr. Yamashita" also taught 9th grade science at the Westfield (MA) high school.

Assistant coach Lisa Wolf teaches the introductory lesson series for students new to fencing. She is also a nurse and the Director of Research for the Emergency Nursing Association. Lisa has been fencing at Riverside since 2009, and actively competes.

As of October 2019, Lisa was ranked #4 in the USA and #44 in the World in the Veteran-50 Women's Epee category.

Lisa was a member of the 2019 USA Fencing Veteran World Championship team.

Assistant coach Will Lawrie has been fencing since 7th grade, coached by Derrick Hoff at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, NJ. After some success as a foilist in high school, Will fenced at Boston College for four years, coached by Syd Fadner. He was co-captain his junior and senior year. He helped lead his team to a 1st place finish in Foil and 1st place finish for the overall team event at the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Championships in 2003. His foil squad won the Silvio Vitale award (given to the best squad at the tournament).

Will is also an Elementary School Teacher and has taught in Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

Will joined the Riverside Fencing Club coaching staff in 2014.

Ben started fencing at 14 in Bellevue, Washington. As an undergraduate at MIT he studied physics and fenced on the varsity team for four years, helping the foil squad to medal in the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Championship every year and win gold in 2009. He was the men’s foil New England Champion in 2010 and the runner-up in 2009. 

Ben joined the Riverside Fencing Club coaching staff in 2019.

Laura started fencing through the introduction to fencing program run by Riverside Fencing Club and the West Springfield Park and Recreation department in 2016.

Fluent in several languages, this Dutch native, artist, equestrienne, teacher, and polyglot actively competes.