DULUTH — The highest individual honor in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey is named after Patty Kazmaier, who was a standout defenseman at Princeton from 1981-86. She died of a rare blood disease in 1990 at the age of 28.
Despite Kazmaier being a blue liner who led the Tigers to three-straight Ivy League titles, Harvard’s Angela Ruggiero in 2004 was the only defenseman to ever win the award since its inception in 1998.
That finally changed Saturday when Ohio State fifth-year defenseman Sophie Jaques was announced as the 2023 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner, one season after she had been passed over as a top-three finalist by Minnesota forward Taylor Heise.
“I’m definitely so honored and humbled to be on this list, and to be one of only two defenseman is incredible,” Jaques said. “I’m so happy to get some recognition for great defensive play and I hope there’s so many other defenseman to win in...