Kickin’ it with Kim

After a star-studded career at WSU in the early ’90s, former soccer player Kim Peterson earned herself a WSU Athletics Hall of Fame induction in 2012



Kim Peterson scored a school record 30 goals during the 1990 season and 25 goals in the next season.

DANIEL SHURR, Evergreen reporter

Washington State University has seen plenty of legends score goals in a Cougar uniform for the women’s soccer team, but no one as great as Kim Peterson, then Kim Lynass.

Peterson is by far the most decorated player in women’s soccer history, as she broke countless school, division and NCAA records throughout her career.

In her freshman year in 1990, Peterson scored 30 goals throughout the 17-game season — the most by any player in program history — and third all-time in the NCAA record books.

That 30-goal season remained an unimaginable achievement, except in 1991 when Peterson fell just five goals short of tying her record set the previous season.

WSU officially recognized women’s soccer as a Division I sport in 1989. The next year, Peterson led the Cougars to an undefeated record at home in her first year in Pullman.

“Coming in as a freshman — it was a program that was newer and guaranteed more playing time,” Peterson said.

Peterson, along with the abundance of fellow freshman that head coach Lisa Frazier had recruited, were not playing against Arizona, Oregon, Stanford and other well-known Pac-12 competitions like the Cougars play today.

Instead, the Cougars bounced around as both a member of the Northwest Collegiate Soccer Conference and as an independent school. It wasn’t until 1993 that women’s soccer joined the Pac-10.

This division status meant that in one week, WSU would play now DIII school Pacific Lutheran University, then the next week play a nationally-ranked powerhouse.

“The league that Washington State plays in now is much, much more competitive than the league we played in,” Peterson said. “The league was very different at that point.”

The Pac-12 may be more challenging than the NCSC was, but that doesn’t mean there should be an asterisk next to “Lynass” in the record books.

She still holds the record for most goals scored in a game, scoring four goals four different times. Three of those games were against Gonzaga University, which is located in her hometown.

“I came from Spokane, and no one got recruited out of there,” Peterson said. “I knew the coach at Gonzaga, and a lot of the players we [WSU] played against. It’s always nice to score against people that you grew up playing [with].”

One of her most notable achievements is the record for most career goals scored at WSU, which is 83 — a record that has remained untouched for decades.

“Playing with Kim was like holding the winning ticket,” said Peterson’s former teammate and roommate Jen Norberg. “She was strong, dominate, skilled, passionate and determined.”

Her ability to make plays from anywhere on the field earned her Conference Player of the Year honors in her 1990 freshman campaign. In her senior year, she shared first-team Pac-10 honors with Jenni Druffel, Jody Payne and Shannon Walters.

“A lot of it goes to having good teammates that can get you the ball,” Peterson said.

Her teammates pushed her to be the best she could be, the same way that Peterson pushed them.

“We had a very ‘healthy’ competition over the years,” Maureen Clark, one of Peterson’s former teammates, said. “I don’t think I realized at the time how much we both pushed each other and our team to work hard, compete and rise to the occasion of any challenge.”

That kind of drive is what got the Cougars ranked in the top 15 Peterson’s senior year. A year that saw a huge upset win over No.6 Stanford, which Peterson still reflects on today.

“It was just fun to progress and get better each year,” she said. “It’s work hard and have fun.”

The “work hard have fun” attitude is what got Peterson inducted into the WSU Hall of Fame in 2012.

Last year the women’s soccer team made it to the final four, capping off a historic season.

“There’s a group of us, about 10 or 12, that went to that game last year,” Peterson said. “I was excited to watch them this year; I think they would have had another really good season.”

Peterson and the rest of the Coug community are confident that the team can build on the previous success of the program.

Although we will continue to see new names pop up in the record books, Peterson has forever cemented herself into the Mount Rushmore of WSU.