RICHMOND, Va. – Kendall Farino couldn’t help herself. At team picture day last fall, she removed the retainer that held her temporary tooth and mugged for her headshot. For the rest of the year, grinning alongside her official team bio was Farino, one tooth short, looking like America’s most cordial hockey enforcer.
“When I’m 80, I’ll think it’s hilarious. I think it’s hilarious now. I’ll have three other [headshots] with a mouth full of teeth, and I thought it would be fun,” says Farino, a senior midfielder on the VCU Field Hockey team. “But mom and dad were not happy.”
It was a small, rare act of rebellion for a player whose reputation is closer a team mom than class clown.
“I’m very type ‘A’, straightforward, follow the rules, do everything I’m told, so it was very off the wall for me,” she says.
In reality, Farino, a genial Virginia Beach native, has been something of a model citizen during her four-year career. Studious, driven and organized, she serves as a team co-captain.
“I think Kendall’s kind of stood out, even before we got her here on campus,” says VCU Head Coach Laura Baker. “She stood out in the way she conducted herself as a 16-, 17-year-old. She was different than most girls we have on campus. She’s always been a very mature young lady, and that’s continued during her four years here.”
An exercise science major, Farino last received a ‘B’ in a class as a senior in high school. Correction: it was a B-plus.
“High school calculus,” she says. “I was pretty mad.”