Katie Krohn’s backpack is always full. In it, she carries an old soccer magazine, a notebook full of soccer drills and notes, and training cones.
“I never know when I’m going to end up at the field again.” Krohn, a sophomore midfielder on the UB women’s soccer team, said.
That preparation just might be the key to Krohn’s success.
As of Wednesday, Krohn has scored 12 goals against eight different opponents this season. That’s more than half of all the team’s goals this season, and she’s the Mid-American Conference’s (MAC) current leading goal-scorer.
But those stats don’t phase her.
“I try not to pay too much attention to the numbers,” Krohn said. “I feel that if I get too consumed by them then it’s going to affect my play.”
The last time a Division-I UB soccer player scored 12 goals in one season was in 2014 by another Katie: Katie Roberts. Roberts led the Bulls to an undefeated season — and their first ever MAC Championship.
Roberts was a senior that 2014 season, and offense was her natural position. Krohn is only a sophomore, and managed to score all her goals as a midfielder.
But with that number looming over her head and a MAC Championship to defend, Krohn’s under a lot of pressure. But she’s adapted to the pressure, and approaches every game the same way.
“I write down three goals [for every game] in my notebook. It’s usually three very simple things like connect my first three passes,” Krohn said. “And I can just go out there and play simple, so I’m not consumed by all these thoughts.”
On the field, Krohn describes her clearly successful playstyle as “scrappy.”
“I will do anything to get a touch on the ball,” Krohn said. “I’ll pull your jersey if I need to.”
“She just has such an appetite for goal, and you can’t teach that,” UB women’s soccer head coach Shawn Burke said. “That hunger, that desire to score goals, sets her apart.”
Burke has been the women’s soccer coach since January of 2014. He won UB its first (2014) and second (2022) ever MAC Championships. The second time around, he had a freshman Katie Krohn on his squad. Krohn didn’t record any goals that season.
“She’s the one player that I’ve been telling everyone, this is the kid that’s going to have a breakout year.” Burke said.
Fifth-year midfielder Leah Wengender, who plays alongside Krohn, says that the leading goalscorer’s presence is potent on the field.
“Defenders from the other teams know who she is,” Wengender said. “Her presence on the field boosts up our attack…Playing with her, it’s made me want to be better on the field.”
This season, Krohn has her sights set on winning the MAC Championship again, this time playing a more vital role on the squad as the starting striker. She wants to help the younger players get more comfortable in their new roles, as she was new last year herself.
After her time at UB, Krohn wants to continue to play the sport she’s been surrounded by her whole life. When she was younger, she would always watch her siblings play, and being around it so much made her fall in love with the beautiful game.
“I can’t see myself doing anything else besides soccer.” she said. “My passion is definitely soccer, and I want to play it until I can’t.”
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Katie Roberts' 12 goals in 2014 were the UB Division-I single-season record. The UB Division-I single-season record is 15 goals scored by Emily Russell in 2004. Katie Krohn finished the 2023 season with 13 goals, placing her in a tie for third in UB Division-I history for single-season goals. The Spectrum regrets this error.
Ricardo Castillo is a sports editor and can be reached at email@example.com