Katie Pedersen is a soccer lifer who began kicking a ball at age 4 and doesn’t see that activity ending any time soon.
The Mercer Island High School (MIHS) player has entered her senior season as one of the Islanders’ four captains and is anticipating some continued success on the pitch with her mates this fall.
“Haven’t lost the love, don’t plan to,” she said of the sport. “I think soccer will be a part of my life forever, whether it’s coachin’ other teams when I’m older or having my kid play ball, but should be good.”
Last season, the center attacking midfielder scored 11 goals and tallied seven assists, was named the MIHS girls soccer most valuable player and earned 3A KingCo first-team honors. The squad — which sported an 8-8-1 overall record — finished fourth in KingCo and ended its season one win short of making the state tournament.
In her third year on varsity, Pedersen is joined by fellow senior captains Mia Shanafelt, Caley Newcomer and Georgia Samuels. At press time, the Islanders were 1-1-0 after a win against Newport and loss to Issaquah in nonleague matches against the 4A KingCo squads.
Pedersen said those matches gave them a chance to assess their squad and prepare them for league contests.
“I think the main focus for this year is to settle down and play. Instead of playing super long boot ball, basically playing through the defense, midfield, forward, just possessing the ball, because I find that’s where we find most of the success and goals,” said Pedersen, who currently plays club ball for Eastside FC.
Along with displaying her soccer IQ by making quick decisions on the ball and delivering solid passes and through balls, Pedersen enjoys interacting with her teammates and coaches.
“Wonderful coaches. Every coach I’ve had has always been so supportive and so helpful in my journey. I think that’s what has helped me the most with loving soccer more and more,” said Pedersen, who aspires to continue playing soccer in the college ranks.
The Reporter asked Pedersen a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life:
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Tobin Heath, she’s on the US Women’s National Team. I have, I think, two jerseys of her and she’s been my favorite player forever. She’s so fascinating to me. Her speed on the ball, her decisions on the ball is amazing. I’d love to just pick her brain about soccer.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
“Tenet.” The characters go through time, forward and backward at the same time and it’s just all about manipulating time, pretty much.
What would be your dream vacation spot?
Definitely somewhere in Europe, probably either England or Paris. Just seeing all the different monuments, famous places, famous tourist areas.
What special skill would you like to learn?
Knitting, crocheting. I always see videos of people making their own shirts and outfits. I think that would be such a fun hobby to fill my time, rather than going on my phone or something.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
When people crack their knuckles in class or playing with their pen, clicking the pen in class. I just cannot focus if that’s the only sound.
If they made a movie about you, who would play your character?
Emma Watson. I love her humor and how she acts and her smile. And she kind of looks like me, brunette hair.