Sophie Jaques has been officially recognized as the best player in women’s college hockey.
The Ohio State defenseman was named Saturday as the winner of this year’s Patty Kazmaier Award, the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy in women’s hockey. She beat out fellow finalists Alina Mueller (Northeastern) and Danielle Serdachny (Colgate) to win the award.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award,” Jaques said after winning the award. “I am grateful to be a recipient of an award named after the incredible athlete, scholar and human being, Patty Kazmaier. While this is an individual award, I have been supported by a whole team of people throughout this season and my career at Ohio State, and I owe this all to my coaches and teammates over the last five years. Receiving this award is something I never even could have imagined was possible.”
Jaques wins the award after leading Ohio State to the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and the national championship game for the second year in a row. Her 24 goals and 48 points both rank as the most among all Division I defensemen, while her nine power-play goals are tied for the most in the entire country. And her impact extends well beyond her offensive contributions, as she’s also one of the Buckeyes’ top defensive players with 55 blocked shots.
Ohio State coach Nadine Muzerall felt Jaques deserved to win the Patty Kazmaier Award this year – after believing just as strongly that she deserved to win it a year ago – because of her impact on both ends of the ice.
“Sophie should be the Kazmaier winner. I think she could have been last year as well,” Muzerall said after Ohio State’s NCAA quarterfinal win over Quinnipiac. “It's like Tom Brady, go out and throw a touchdown; after you do that, now go play defensive end. You're asking her to play two different roles, and she's had consistent years of domination; over 100 points in two years, I mean, that's just unheard of.”
Jaques is just the second defenseman ever to win the Patty Kazmaier Award, joining Harvard’s Angela Ruggiero, who won it in 2004.
With the sport’s most coveted individual award in hand, Jaques will now turn her focus back to chasing the sport’s most coveted team prize as the Buckeyes look to win their second straight national championship Sunday, when they will play Wisconsin in the Frozen Four final. The game will begin at 4 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.