Super Seven Spotlight: Senior Katie Bethke Gophersports.com spotlights each of Minnesota soccer's seven seniors.
In an eight-part series leading up to the 2010 Minnesota soccer season, Gophersports.com will profile each of the team's seven seniors along with the program's longtime student manager. This week, we profile 2009 First Team All-Big Ten honoree Katie Bethke...
The versatile Katie Bethke, Minnesota's top scorer in 2009, returns to the Gophers' lineup for her fourth season this year as part of one of the most experienced senior classes in program history.
A regular contributor since her freshman year in 2007, Bethke had a career season in 2009 when she nearly doubled her career point total. The Eau Claire, Wisc. native recorded 11 goals (third in the Big Ten) and seven assists in her junior campaign, earning First Team All-Big Ten and NSCAA third-team All-Region for the first time in her career. Bethke also tied team records for points and goals in a match on Oct. 4, 2009 when she scored four times and added two assists in Minnesota's 9-0 win over South Dakota.
Known for her demanding work ethic and training, Bethke turned heads at the U.S. U-23 development camp earlier this year when she shattered the fitness record in just her first appearance at the camp. Her performance earned her a spot on a three-game tour through Germany this summer with the U-23 team.
Along with her athleticism, Bethke's versatility and internal motor allow her to be effective at both the forward and midfield positions, and her accuracy from the field is impeccable. The senior has put over half of her 137 shots on goal (.533 SOG). As good as Bethke can be, she also has a knack for making those around her look better. As a freshman, Bethke teamed with forward Lindsey Schwartz to become the first Gopher teammates to each score 20 points in a season since 1999. The effort earned Bethke All-Big Ten Freshman Team and Soccer Buzz Great Lake All-Region Freshman team honors while Schwartz was named Second Team All-Big Ten.
Minnesota's 2007 Rookie of the Year stayed true to form the next season as a sophomore when she tallied goals in four-straight games to help the Gophers open the season with a 10-0 record on their way to the program's first Big Ten championship since 1997.
Off the field, Bethke was a University of Minnesota Scholar Athlete in 2008 and will serve on the 2010-11 Student Athlete Advisory Committee Executive Council.
"It has been so fun to watch Bethke's game take off these last few years. Her dedication and discipline in training have clearly paid off and she is playing with a confidence and skill level that is inspiring to our team," Minnesota head coach Mikki Denney Wright said. "It is very rare to find a player so gifted in every facet of the game. Bethke is a tremendously complete player who is able to impact the game from any position on the field. She is a gifted play maker who has a remarkable ability to beat players 1v1 and her composure under pressure is second to none. It has been a gift to have Katie Bethke in our program. I am excited to see the great things she will accomplish this year."