Kathryn Peterson is used to accolades.
The Michigan field hockey recruit — ranked No. 7 in the country according to MAX Field Hockey — has racked up an impressive resume before even setting foot on campus. A key member of title-contending teams from high school to club to the U19 National Team, Peterson has the potential to become a difference-maker even as a freshman.
Her high school — Serra High School in San Diego, Calif. — is nearly unstoppable. Ranked as the No. 8 high school team in the country and the best west of Washington, D. C., Serra went undefeated in the last two seasons and won its section championships all four years of Peterson’s high school career. Her senior year, she served as co-captain and scored 40 goals with 18 assists.
Peterson’s club team, RUSH Field Hockey, won every game of the U19 Disney Showcase 2018 and placed fifth at the U19 National Club Championships in 2016. Peterson is also a member of the USA Field Hockey U19 National Team — an elite squad that gets the opportunity to tour and compete internationally.
Peterson is a well-rounded, energetic athlete whose skills translate well to any team.
“She’s super creative, dynamic, on the ball,” said RUSH coach Brian Schledorn. “With ability to distribute long-range passing.”
Her versatility also enables teams to use her wherever she fits best, opening up more options for coaches. On her high school team, she played forward and midfield and with RUSH, she has played all three non-goalkeeper positions — forward, midfield and back.
“Personally, I like her in the midfield,” Schledorn said. “(But) for the U19 National Team, she plays the forward line, and then I think potentially at Michigan she might play the defensive line.” (She is listed as a midfielder on MGoBlue.com.)
The Wolverines lost several top players to graduation last year — including midfielder and back Katie Trombetta and forward and midfielder Esther de Leijer. Like both players, Peterson is a skilled and versatile passer, and she can prove to be a threat on offense or defense.
Though comparisons to either player at this point would be unfair — Trombetta was an All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year and de Leijer was named to the All-Big Ten and All-West Region Second Teams — Peterson has the skills of a potential elite player and as a top-ranked recruit, she will likely be given a chance to contribute right away.
Not only was Peterson a star on the field, she was named to the San Diego Union-Tribune All-Academic Team with a 4.64 grade-point average. Her academic and athletic achievements make her a good fit for Michigan. Many Division I field hockey programs are at small East Coast schools, but with her well-rounded interests, Peterson wanted something more.
“She wanted a big school,” Schledorn said. “A top-10 contender.”
The Wolverines certainly check off both those boxes. Michigan had its most successful season in several years in 2017, sweeping the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles and making a run all the way to the Final Four. And while the Wolverines lost several important pieces from last season in Trombetta, de Leijer, goalkeeper Sam Swenson and forward Carly Bennett, Peterson has the capability to become a key part of a young core striving to lead Michigan back to the pinnacle of the sport.