It is hard to find Catherine “Cat” Lindroth ’08 these days without a cup of coffee in hand — a grande Americano with four shots of espresso, to be exact. But with the level of intensity she brings to her academics, friendships and performance on the field, Lindroth needs a little caffeine to give her that edge.
As the second leading scorer on the field hockey team, Lindroth displays an unparalleled intensity in every aspect of the game and during team workouts as a model for her teammates, coach Pam Stuper said.
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“Cat is a power forward for us,” Stuper said. “Whether she is going on an attack carrying the ball or bringing the ball out of the backfield, she strikes the fear of God in her opponent with her intensity and power, and her teammates are inspired by that intensity.”
Some of Lindroth’s pre-game rituals — such as having teammate Lorrie Kiger ’08 braid her hair outrageously — also serve to fire up the Elis. Lindroth’s current braid style is a mohawk. The ritual is so important to the team’s success that Kiger has performed it even with a broken thumb, Lindroth said.
“One thing we have started doing this year is dancing in the hallway before every game,” Lindroth said. “We dance to everything from techno to Soulja Boy, and it really gets our energy flowing. I love my team more than anything in the world, so I love it when we get to go a little crazy.”
When she is not doing the “superman” with her team, Lindroth strives to devote her energy to all aspects of her life.
“Cat is an extremely focused person who is determined to make something happen once she gets it in her head, so she gives 110 percent in every area of her life, whether it’s field hockey, academics, or friendships,” team captain Harriet Thayer ’08 said.
Lindroth struggled with compartment syndrome in her shins during her freshman season. Pressure in her shins restricted blood flow and caused pain that prevented her from competing in her rookie season. A surgery the next summer restricted her training for the next season, but she returned as a sophomore and tied for the team lead in goals, with five.
Lindroth said the surgery allowed her to see how far she could push herself and when to pull back and take care of her body.
In addition to field hockey, Lindroth said she has a strong interest in social justice in international affairs. She has travelled abroad to Africa and India to work during the summers.
“Two summers ago I traveled to Nairobi with AISEC to join a community support group where I worked on a project that set up a co-ed soccer tournament to coincide with a ten-day medical camp,” Lindroth said. “It was my baby, and I wanted to make sure that it was co-ed to alter the relationships between the genders. It also had an education complement to it to teach the children about HIV/AIDS.”
Making it to Africa proved difficult, however, as Lindroth was diagnosed with mononucleosis prior to the trip and had to work hard to convince her parents to allow her to go.
“It was something I really wanted to do,” Lindroth said. “So, I kicked mono in 10 days and pretty much put my relationship with my father on the line, but when I stepped on that plane, it was one of the proudest moments in my life.”
Her roommate, Jocelyn Keehner ’08, said she thinks Lindroth’s decision to continue on the Africa trip took a lot of courage and is characteristic of Cat’s overall drive.
“Cat is a very bubbly and happy person, but she possesses this kind of intensity,” Keehner said. “She definitely holds herself up to a very high standard because she wants to be the best that she is capable of being. I really admire the confidence she possesses and the courage it took for her to go to Africa anyway.”
Last summer Lindroth worked for the MindTree Consulting firm in India and attempted to break down gender barriers within the community where she was working.
“While I was in Bangalore, I had a hard time finding a place to train,” Lindroth said. “But I found a street beside a walking park where I could run sprints. Sometimes the children would try to run with me, and I loved it. I know they weren’t accustomed to seeing a strong woman that could run as hard as a man.”
Lindroth said she attempts to impact the lives of people with whom she interacts everyday, including her friends and teammates. Her energy tends to spread throughout the team, defender and teammate Beth Raveche ’08 said.
Striving to make a difference in Africa or on the field, Lindroth said she lives her life by a simple credo.
“My motto is: how do you know you can’t, unless you try?” Lindroth said. “You can always run farther than you thought, get an A in the subject you thought you were bad in and accomplish things you never thought about before.”