On Campus: Kathleen Typadis Is A Fantastic Freshman
May. 3, 2005
Before lacrosse was the cool game for high school kids to play, before it showed up in "American Pie" and before Medfield even sanctioned it as a varsity sport, Kathleen Typadis decided to be a player.
Because that's what she's always been been. Didn't matter what sport. Soccer. Basketball. Track. Even a year of Pop Warner football.
Lacrosse was just the latest one to come down the pike. Bob Aronson -- now the boys coach at Medfield -- set up a clinic in town so his sons could play. Typadis, drawn by the physical nature of the game and prodded by a neighbor, joined up.
There was only one catch. It was a clinic for boys and among all curious kids in attendance, there were just three girls.
She'll admit she was a little out of her league. Now, that's where the rest of the girls are.
A little less than a year after graduating from Medfield as the first 100-point scorer in the lacrosse program's history, Typadis has broken nearly every freshman record there is at Division I UMass-Amherst. As -- in a technical sense -- a walk-on. And, no less, in a sport that just kinda, well, came along and caught her attention.
"I always liked it," she says. "It was very new, very different than anything else. ... I guess it was all the stick skills, the hand-eye coordination that got me."
Typadis, of course, has all of that. At least, that's what the opponents of the Minutewomen will tell you.
On a team that's going through a rebuilding phase, the frosh attack has given third-year coach Carrie Bolduc's program plenty of cause to see a bright future. In her first game as a collegian, against Holy Cross, Typadis tallied three goals and an assist.
It was no fluke. Thirteen games later, she tied the freshman scoring record with her 38th point of the season, then broke it with her 39th later in the same game, a 17-14 win over Longwood.
Going into this afternoon's game at Temple, Typadis is up to 41 points, second on the team, and has a UMass-leading 34 goals. Funny thing about that, too. With the program still falling short of a full complement of scholarships, Bolduc couldn't offer Typadis money for her first season in Amherst.
That makes her, yes, a walk-on. A recruited one, sure. Still, in the most technical sense, a walk-on.
That didn't stop Typadis from holding herself to the standards she always had.
"I have expectations," she says. "I've got goals before every game I set."
This is the same girl who once played the most violent team game in America, so she wasn't exactly going to be scared, either.
But that didn't mean there weren't adjustments she had to make. At Medfield, while lacrosse may have been her best sport, it wasn't her only one. Typadis also lettered in basketball and track, and was a good enough soccer player to have Stonehill coming after her to play on the college pitch.
All that meant never playing one sport for an extended period. Then, she got to UMass and it was all lacrosse, all the time.
"It's like a job, it's a lot of lacrosse," she says. "At first, I was a little overwhelmed. I'd have a full day of school, study hall and have to practice for three hours. You're really packing a lot in there."
The one good thing about it, though, was that she didn't have a season to deal with right away. She had fall practice to acquaint herself to the Division I game, and the whole semester to adjust to the rest of college life.
That allowed Typadis to get the kinks out. And some butterflies.
"At the first practice, it was seven in the morning and it was pretty foggy out, and I was a nervous wreck," she says. "It was better having fall ball first. There wasn't as much pressure and all the freshman were at the same level."
Not for long.
Through those autumn weeks, Typadis realized that, although she hadn't competed at a Division 1 level of high school lacrosse, she was more than equipped to excel on one in college. That was something she was a little worried about, since she had recruited the UMass opportunity as much as Bolduc recruited her.
"I sent her a lot of stuff," says Typadis. "I was pretty consistent with my calls and letting her know I was interested. She saw me play and said I would probably make the team."
Now, with the freshman record in the books and a team record that she'd rather forget, Typadis has a different outlook.
Last fall, it was about making the team. When this season ends, in the next couple of weeks, it will be about making the team better.
That means making herself a more-complete player. And that leads to her response when asked what all the numbers she's put up really mean.
"I want to beat them next year," she says "and that's pretty much it."
She's a player, alright. A legit Division I player.
Eight years after she picked up that stick for the first time, Typadis has proven that. Back then, she was a little overmatched. Ever since, everyone else has been.
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