Sept. 9, 1997
Kiladis Keeps on Going
Cavalier Senior Contributes to Success of UVa Athletics Year Round
By Charlie Bare
Most athletes look forward to the offseason. Sure, they all want to win and extend their year with a long trip into the postseason. But once the final game has been played it is time to relax, give the body some time to heal after months of going all out.
Not for UVa fourth-year defender Katie Kiladis. During the fall, she plays for the Cavalier women's soccer team. In the winter, the Framingham, Mass., native turns her focus to indoor track and field, then in the spring it is on to outdoor track and field. "My whole life, I have always been competing in sports year round," says Kiladis. "Now, I really don't know what it would be like to not be in season."
As far as UVa fans are concerned, it is a good thing she never takes any time off. For the track team last year, Kiladis placed third at the 1997 ACC Outdoor Championship in the heptathlon with a personal best score of 4,855. She also finished in fifth place in the high jump at the 1997 ACC Indoor Championship.
Her accomplishments on the pitch have been quite impressive as well. In her first two year, Kiladis saw limited action as a reserve forward but still managed to put up big offensive numbers. In 1994 she totaled two goals and two assists in only 92 minutes of action, then in 1995 she had four goals and one assist in 135 minutes of play. For her first two years, she totaled six goals on only 11 shots, averaging a goal for every 37 minutes on the field.
Then, last year, Kiladis saw her role with the Cavaliers' change. At mid-season, head coach April Heinrichs moved Kiladis from her reserve role up top to the back. The tall, speedy player then became a key part of the UVa defense. Kiladis started the final 10 games of the season, helping the Cavaliers' to a team GAA of 1.34.
"It was a big change for me when I was moved to defense, because I had been a forward my whole life," says Kiladis. "At first it was exciting to learn a new position, but also scary since I had to look at the game from an entirely different point of view. My role as a defender is the exact opposite of what it was as a forward, but I think I appreciate all the different aspects of the game more now." Even after she moved to defense last year, Kiladis continued to put up some offensive numbers. She scored two goals early in the season while playing forward, but all three of her assists in 1996 came after she moved to the back. Currently, Kiladis has career totals of eight goals and six assists for 22 points.
At the early stages of this season, her playing time has been limited, but Heinrichs is glad to have someone like Kiladis adding depth and veteran leadership for the Cavaliers in the back. "Katie Kiladis is a hard worker with good speed and strong defensive ability," says Heinrichs. "She is a mature person, a wonderful teammate and brings great presence to the field." Although 1997 will be her final season playing soccer for the Cavaliers, Kiladis has many options open to her at the end of the year. She will graduate from UVa with a degree in Economics this May, and may move on to the work force. At the same time, she could return to UVa as a graduate student in 1998-99, as she still has one year of eligibility remaining in track and field. Whatever she decides to do, Kiladis has made a defenite impact in the world of UVa Athletics and will be missed when she departs.