Soccer superstar earns Nebraska scholarship

Katie Kraeutner’s skills take her to top NCAA Division 1 university squad

Katie Kraeutner does some fancy juggling during a solo soccer practice at Centennial Park in February.

Katie Kraeutner does some fancy juggling during a solo soccer practice at Centennial Park in February.

While her peers jet off to Ottawa on the trip of a lifetime, Katie Kraeutner will be busily wrapping up her life in B.C. as she embarks on a university dream.

Kraeutner, captain of the Parkland senior girls soccer team, won a full scholarship to the University of Nebraska to play soccer with the Corn Huskers, a top team in NCAA Division 1 soccer. She had a few options for post secondary schooling and her love of the beautiful game pushed Nebraska to the top.

“[It was] the soccer. It’s NCAA Division 1 in the Big 10 Conference and I’ve always aspired to play there,” she said. “I hope to become an impact player but I know it’s going to be hard going in [as a] freshman first year.

“I’m hoping that I can make an impact with the team and help myself develop as well and have some fun with it.”

Her first year of university will be spent in general studies, but she plans to carve a path into sports science.

The Peninsula teen graduates this month from Parkland secondary with a host of awards under her belt. She earned the academic Governor General Bronze Medal for top student in Grade 11 and 12 and was named most outstanding senior female athlete at the Parkland year end awards.

“I didn’t expect it. It was an honour,” she said. “There’s so many incredible people in this school.”

A midfielder with the Victoria Highlanders FC women’s side, Kraeutner will be wrapping up her season with that soccer club and preparing for a late July departure for university while her Parkland teammates are whisked east in a cultural exchange with Cairine Wilson secondary school in Ottawa.

The Parkland team finished seventh in provincial competition this year.

“Provincials was pretty fun,” she said. “I was happy with how we placed. It was a good finish for us.”