BY DAN STICKRADT
NOVI — Like many of the state’s top soccer prospects, there are choices to be made.
Before her junior season, Katrina Koomen was dangled a temptation in front of her and she decided to attend showcase tournaments with her Michigan Hawks club team.
There was one drawback: Part of the Michigan Hawks’ schedule overlaped with the high school season in the spring months, meaning she would be ineligible for the high school competition if she suited up with the Hawks from mid-March through early June.
Then a junior at Novi, Koomen gave it a shot, left her Novi jersey hanging up in the closet, and toured with the Hawks, like a couple dozen other of the state’s top players and was quite successful. She earned numerous accolades on the club circuit.
A towering 6-foot stalwart marking back who has added some offensive prowess to her game as well, Koomen was torn by the decision. She opted to come back to Novi’s program as a senior.
“We’re glad she was able to work it out and come back this year,” said Todd Pfeiffer, Novi’s second-year head coach. “With the boys U.S. Soccer Academy and the girls ECNL Hawks, not all of the top kids can play high school ball anymore. The kids are forced into tough decisions. We lost Katrina for her junior season, but we were glad that she came back as a senior. She has made a huge difference for us.”
This season the left-footed Koomen returned to Novi’s program and enjoyed a stellar campaign, both as an individual and as a team. She led Novi to it’s seventh Final Four in 12 seasons — more than any other D-1 program in that tome period.
She was also a freshman member of Novi’s 2013 squad that reached the state semifinals as well.
“Playing for your community, your school, is such a special thing. I missed it,” said Koomen following her team’s regional title victory over Brighton, 3-2 double-overtime affair in which Koomen registered a goal and an assist. “I knew we would have a really good team this year. I am glad I was able to come back and be a part of this.”
Koomen, who signed earlier this year with NCAA Division I College of Charleston, took a great deal of her team’s restarts this season with her ability to curl the ball into the penalty box or get a shot on net with her accuracy.
She finished with 11 goals and 15 assists in 2016 with several game-tying or game-winning goals and game-winning assists along with her duties as a lock-down defender.
The Wildcats, ranked fourth entering the postseason, lost in the Division 1 state semifinals to eventual state champion Rochester Stoney Creek, 2-1, in a game that reached a shootout.
Koomen earned All-KLAA Central Division, All-District, All-Region and Division 1 All-State First Team honors as a senior this season. Additionally, Koomen, along with teammate Chloe Allen, was named to the 11-member All-State Dream Team by the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association.
Koomen also starred on her school’s club field hockey squad.
As a sophomore in 2014, Koomen played for Novi and earned All-KLAA and All-District honors the same year that her older sister, Karissa Koomen earned D-1 All-State Third Team status.
Now, the youngest Koomen joins some of the school’s all-time greats with her Dream Team status.
“There’s a lot that you miss when you don’t play for your high school,” said Koomen. “I just (wanted to) help my team go as far as I can.”