Typadis Reflects On UMass Career
April 21, 2008
It's not unique.
In fact, it's something every athlete goes through eventually, something every athlete feels. But that doesn't make it any less personal, any less confusing, any easier.
It's the end, and it's what Kathleen Typadis is facing.
Typadis grew up in Medfield, and went to Medfield High. She was a Daily News girls lacrosse All-Star her senior year after scoring 77 goals. She became a women's lacrosse star at UMass-Amherst, scoring 36 goals as a freshman.
Now she's a senior. She played her final regular season game yesterday, an 11-10 loss to Duquesne. On Friday she'll take the field for perhaps the final time, when UMass takes on Richmond in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, which is being hosted by the Minutemen this spring.
"It's just been - I've had a really amazing experience," Typadis said. "We have a new coach (Alexis Venechanos) who came in before last season and she really changed the program, raised the level. It's been a lot of hard work, but there are no regrets. There have been ups and downs, but overall it's been fun and a good experience."
Typadis' four-year run at UMass has been nothing short of remarkable. Those 36 goals she scored as a freshman turned into 42 as a sophomore, and a school-record 52 more as a junior. With 25 this year she has a career total of 156, second only to Pam Moryl, who scored 170 goals at UMass in the early 1980s.
"As a freshman I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off," Typadis said. "I had no expectations then, just to work hard. I was able to get through without having all the skills. I was just myself on the field, played aggressive."
With time - and the teaching of Venechanos - has come the skill to compliment the innate ability. That's led to many accolades, including a second-team A-10 All-Star selection in 2006, and first-team A-10 All-Star nod last spring, and beyond that a spot on the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association's All-Region team.
But of course lacrosse is about more than just the individual, and while Typadis is proud of the stats she's accumulated in nearly four complete years, it's team success she craves.
The Minutemen failed to make the A-10 Tournament in both Typadis' freshman and junior years - only the top four teams in the conference qualify - and the one time in the past three years UMass qualified it was beaten in the opening round. If the Minutemen win the conference tournament this time around, it's on to the NCAA Tournament.
"The A-10 Tournament is home this year, and I wouldn't want it any other way as a senior," said Typadis. "To come out as champs on our home turf would be awesome."
The season began slowly for UMass, but that was largely a function of the schedule. The Minutemen began the year 1-6, but five of the six losses were against nationally-ranked teams, including No. 1 Northwestern and No. 3 Maryland.
Then things picked up with a 5-4 finish, including a 4-3 record in A-10 play.
"We started out with a really tough schedule, playing teams in the top 10, top 20," said Typadis. "It was good to be competitive, and it prepared us for the A-10. We're finding chemistry, coming together."
Perhaps that chemistry will help extend Typadis' career beyond Friday, to the A-10 title game and perhaps even beyond that into the NCAA Tournament. But whether the end comes Friday or beyond, the approach of that finish has led to some reflection.
"Last year, beating Boston University, which was nationally-ranked," Typadis named as one of the highlights of her four years. "We won at BU - that was one of the really fun games. Another is going to the A-10 Tournament as sophomore. We had to win at George Washington to make the tournament."
After that success as a sophomore, failure to make the A-10 Tournament last year was one of the big career disappointments.
"Last year we had high expectations," said Typadis. "To not make the tournament was disappointing. That was a low point."
The career nears its end on another high point - a tourney berth. But Typadis says one of her great sources of pride isn't what the team has done while she's been a part of it, but what she expects it to do once she leaves.
"(Venechanos) comes from the No. 1 program - Northwestern - and she's instilled a lot of discipline," said Typadis. "She's taking it to the next level in practice. She's made it more fun, and she's building a good foundation. It will be fun to look back. ... There's a good future ahead."
The future for Typadis will include lacrosse. She loves the game, and wants to pass it on. She'll coach the game, and is now applying to grad schools with the idea of becoming a teacher.
But now there's at least one more game, at least one more chance to delay the inevitable, to delay the experience every athlete goes through eventually.
"It's going to be bittersweet (walking off the field for the last time)," Typadis said. "I haven't thought about it, because it's sad."
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