Katie McKillop had never picked up a field hockey stick prior to the start of the fall season. The Riverhead senior had already played on varsity for four different sports, so how hard could one more be?
McKillop was a natural, earning all-conference honors as one of the Blue Waves’ top players.
It’s another fall sport, however, that will take center stage in her life going forward: soccer. McKillop signed to play in the fall at Hamilton College, a Division III school in Clinton, N.Y.
This past summer, McKillop played at a summer camp at the school, which helped convince her it was the right fit. She’s receiving an academic scholarship from the college and plans to major in physics, according to a Riverhead School District press release.
In addition to her athletic triumphs, McKillop boasts a 106.6 weighted average and is ranked sixth out of 329 students in her class.
McKillop first joined the varsity soccer team at Riverhead in eighth grade, and was a member of the team for the next three seasons before deciding to try field hockey as a senior. She’s also played basketball, softball and outdoor track.
McKillop had her sophomore season wiped out by an ACL injury she suffered during the summer in 2012.
While she wasn’t on the Blue Waves’ soccer team this fall, she did play on the Sound Beach SC Stringrays United club team under coach Noah Stiles. She played central back and was a team captain.
“She has great vision, plays with tremendous poise, reads the game extremely well … has outstanding foot skills and always plays with confidence,” Stiles said in a release.
McKillop’s mother, Alice, said her daughter has always been internally driven.
“As a small child, she taught herself to ride a bike,” Alice said.