Katie Reinprecht named Daily Princetonian Female Athlete of the Year
by: John Wolfe
In August of 2012, senior midfielder Katie Reinprecht was still training in Europe with the U.S. National Team as her year-long hiatus from Princeton field hockey drew to a close. Less than three months later, she was raising an NCAA Championship trophy in Virginia with her fellow Tigers.
During the final game of her college career, Reinprecht recorded an assist and the game’s only defensive save en route to a 3-2 upset over then-No. 1 North Carolina. Reinprecht’s efforts helped Princeton capture its eighth-straight Ivy League title and first ever national title.
Reinprecht led her team with 19 assists this year and tallied 37 points — the second most of any Tiger. Her efforts earned her the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year title as well as the 2012 Honda Sports Award for Field Hockey, presented each year to the country’s best field hockey player.
Reinprecht’s achievements are not confined to her senior season, however; her career has been defined by markedly consistent success. During each of her four years at Princeton, the midfielder earned All-Ivy and All-America honors to go with her four Ivy League championships. She led her team in assists three out of four years, and produced the most or second-most points on her team every year.
A three-time captain, Reinprecht influenced her teammates through her leadership just as much as she did through her statistical contributions. Sophomore midfielder Sydney Kirby, who played one season without Reinprecht and one season with her, says the senior brought a unity to the squad that it had lacked in her absence.
“Katie’s decisive leadership, her skill level and her levelheadedness kept our team together in situations where other teams would have crumbled under the pressure,” she said. “Her unselfishness and her ability to feed the ball to others on the field was contagious and helped us all play more like a unit, rather than as individual players.”
Reinprecht attributes much of her improved leadership as a senior to the growth she experienced during her year of training with the U.S. National Team before her final season.
“I think I learned valuable lessons about how to lead and be led, which I tried to apply during this past season at Princeton, serving as one of the captains,” she said. “I think during that year I learned to be more professional – in how I trained, in how I prepared for competition [with] proper nutrition, workouts, etc., and how I conducted myself on and off the field.”
Kirby says that upon her return from Olympic training, Reinprecht had formed a special bond with the other girls who had spent time with the National team — her sister, junior midfielder Julia Reinprecht, senior striker Kat Sharkey and junior striker Michelle Cesan. Her newfound chemistry with those players helped Reinprecht unite the entire team.
“The way the Reinprecht sisters have an unbelievable connection both on and off the field and between those four players, we were able to effectively build our team,” Kirby said.
Reinprecht is continuing her brilliant career, preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games. On May 23rd, she will compete in a women’s high performance tournament and await the 2013-14 National Team selections.
For now, she is a national champion, three-time Ivy League Player of the Year and The Daily Princetonian's Female Athlete of 2012-13.