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Kendall Farino been a four-year standout for VCU on the field hockey turf, but her best performances have come off it.

Kendall Farino been a four-year standout for VCU on the field hockey turf, but her best performances have come off it.

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.”



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Senior Stephanie DeMasi became VCU's all-time assists leader on Oct. 4.

Senior Stephanie DeMasi became VCU’s all-time assists leader on Oct. 4.

RICHMOND, Va. – This summer, as an intern for an orthopedic surgeon, Stephanie DeMasi observed a multitude of surgical procedures; from ligament transplants to hip replacements. The experience only reinforced her desire to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a surgeon herself.

“I think it’s really the atmosphere of being in the [operating room], having the excitement, the responsibility,” said DeMasi, a senior defender and captain on the VCU Field Hockey team of what draws her to the environment.

It’s relatively easy to see DeMasi becoming a surgeon because it’s a logical place for the transference of her skills. By others, she’s been described as bright, consistent, responsible and precise – very, very precise.

If you polled 100 people and asked what quality they desired most in a surgeon, a steady, precise hand would have to rank near the top of the list, and DeMasi has a track record of precision.

On Oct. 4 in a game against Radford, DeMasi recorded her 25th career assist to become the program’s all-time leader, surpassing a mark held previously by Stephanie Whitlow and Kelsey Scherrer. Like most of the assists in her career, DeMasi used a well-placed insertion pass on a penalty corner to break the record.



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Things may look a little different at Cary Street Field this year. New turf, a joint venture between Rec Sports and the VCU Athletic Department, now blankets the corner of Cary and Harrison Streets. Not only will the surface play better than the old, but it promises to make VCU Field Hockey more attractive to recruits and the opposition. This season, six-time national champion and 2012 NCAA runner-up North Carolina will visit Cary Street Field, a match that would have been unimaginable before the turf upgrade.


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Mike Voyack and I recently caught up with new VCU Field Hockey Coach Laura Baker. Baker, a former VCU goalkeeper for the Rams, is looking forward to her first season at this helm this fall.


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