Hazleton, Pa. - Katie Oldziejewski (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) wrapped up her career in the fall of 2019 as the most prolific goal-scorer in the early history of the women's soccer program at Penn State Hazleton. She began her tenure in 2016 as a founding member of the team and went on to lead the Nittany Lions in scoring with 13 goals during the inaugural season. Katie would repeat that feat for the next two seasons, helping the squad mature into a contender in the Penn State University Athletic Conference.
During her final two seasons, Oldziejewski played a major role in propelling the Lions to back to back PSUAC championship game appearances. As a junior she scored eight goals in conference play during the regular season and when playoff time came, Oldziejewski was right in the thick of things. During Hazleton's 2018 semi-final matchup with Penn State Beaver, Katie delivered the game-winning assist and later added an insurance score to send the Nittany Lions to the PSUAC Finals. Oldziejewski went on to top that effort as a senior with three goals in Hazleton's 4-2 win at Penn State Mont Alto in the 2019 PSUAC playoffs. All three scores came in the second half, including the game winner in the 74th minute of play.
Throughout her career, Oldziejewski ranked as one of the top goal-scorers in the PSUAC. She set the bar for scoring with 50 goals, eight hat tricks and 14 assists during her career at Hazleton. Those numbers earned Katie three-time honors as a first teamer on the PSUAC All-Conference Team and All-American recognition from the United States Collegiate Athletic Association for her final three seasons.
Katie also excelled in the classroom as a four-time PSUAC Academic All-Conference Award winner and three-time USCAA National All-Academic Team member. She earned her Associates Degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant and went on to complete her Bachelor's Degree in Letters, Arts and Sciences with a focus on Psychology, Sociology and Rehabilitation and Human Services in December of 2019.
We caught up with Katie earlier in the week to reminisce about her career:
What has been your favorite memory while participating in women's soccer?
Making it to the finals for the first time. It rained the entire time and it was freezing cold but we beat Beaver in the semi-finals. We had really come a long way to get to that point and were playing great.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I just got the job in South Carolina! It's and therapy position at a place called Stretch ZONE and I'll be working as a stretch practitioner. Looking forward to learning the business side of things and possibly own my own branch some day.
What have you been up to since the pandemic began?
I spent most of the time getting really close with my dog and job hunting. Not working out as much as I should. I'm always watching The Office and New Girl. You and Dead To Me were some of my favorite shows to watch while we were stuck in the house.
What is the best class you took while attending Penn State Hazleton?
Physical Therapy Rehabilitation class with Gina Tarud. It was an interesting course and I got a job in rehab after school, so I get to apply all the things I learned!
What teammates of yours are the best ones to follow on social media?
The funniest ones on Twitter are the Principe's and Kasey Jackson….they're great re-tweeters. I get some good stuff from Ariel sometimes.
What is your favorite memory outside of athletics at Penn State?
Passing my final practical on the first try in the PTA program. It was the best feeling I had in school. It meant that all the hard work I had put into it had paid off. It gave me such a strong sense of accomplish and I was able to relax a bit knowing that I had earned my degree.
Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to for having a positive impact on your career?
My parents. They supported my decision to transfer to the school and play soccer. I also want to thank all the coaches and administrators. We had a lot of changes but got a lot of diverse perspectives in the process which helped us learn.