Oct. 8, 2013
By Bobby Dorigo Jones, MSU Athletic Communications Student Assistant
Senior midfielder Katherine Jamieson has found herself in the thick of many heated battles against the top field hockey squads in the country. Whether she and her Spartan battalion were flanked by the ivy-laden halls of Princeton or by the piercing blue waters of San Francisco bay at Stanford, Jamieson has never been fazed when Michigan State enters competition with a ranked opponent.
However, Jamieson is a rare breed. She also feels at home when she is flanked by blackboards or by the walls of a study carrel in the library. The communications major has received numerous academic awards, including two Academic All-Big Ten nods and two selections to the NFHCA National Academic Squad.
Jamieson did not necessarily expect such success, but she definitely planned to put herself in a position to achieve great things.
"I wanted to challenge myself against some of the best competition around," Jamieson said, "I wasn't really sure what I wanted to study so I wanted a big school that allowed me to succeed academically by giving me a lot of options to sort of find myself."
She has always enjoyed taking part in a multitude of activities to make herself a well-rounded competitor.
"I danced in high school, and tried out track and field a little bit, too," said Jamieson. "Obviously I had to cut back on things, but I loved my time doing both of them and I think that they've made me a better person."
However, it is how Jamieson has maintained such success on and off the field that has been the key.
"Balance," Jamieson said. "It is all about blocking out all your school thoughts when you're on the field and vice versa."
Her determination has not gone unnoticed by the team.
"I think with KJ she has a drive to be successful in everything she does," said head coach Helen Knull. "She takes her role as a student-athlete seriously, understanding she needs to take care of academics, as well as being fit and ready to play. She has excellent time management and interpersonal skills. She has good relationships with her professors, academic staff, teammates and coaches. If she needs help, she is not afraid to ask for it and is also someone who steps up and helps others in need."
Once she quickly adjusted to college life, Jamieson focused on solidifying her place on the Spartan squad as a defensive stalwart. She has started in 39 out of 40 games the last two seasons, missing just one contest as a sophomore.
"I pride myself on defensive corners," she said. "I've been working on my individual technique a ton this summer so I can step up more on those plays."
Jamieson hopes to take the lessons she's learned over the past three years and apply them to her new role as a senior leader.
"It's really exciting," said Jamieson. " I remember watching all of the seniors when I was a freshman and taking some cues from them. It's cool being on the other side now."
Looking to make the most of her final year, Jamieson hopes the experience of the team will help them through the season.
"I'm really excited about this season. It just feels like everything has come together at the right time. All of my best friends are on this team, we have awesome coaches and have experienced a lot together. We've been through a lot with tough competition."
That experience has come in handy this season with how Jamieson has embraced a role that requires not only a talented individual, but also a great teammate. In her last season as a Spartan, Jamieson is an elder of sorts to whom the younger players look for advice.
"I just tell them to have no regrets," she said. "Do not pass up on an opportunity to improve yourself. That's what we're going to do this season - leave it all out there and have no regrets."