Joining a top ten NCAA Division III Women’s Hockey program like Lake Forest College might be nerve-wrecking for some, but freshman goaltender Jacque Rogers thrives off the challenge.
Rogers continues her outstanding season after serving only a few months in the Forester uniform. Not only has she had four shutouts in her 14 games played, the freshman has been named Forester Athlete of the week by the College’s Athletic Department and Defensive Player of the Week twice in January and February by the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.
“Although I am proud of all the achievements thus far, I am never one to get caught up in achievements or pay attention to any of the stats,” says Rogers, claiming she’s never focused on numbers.
Rogers stats are something to pay attention to, however. The goalie has a save percentage of .942, ranking her third in the nation for goaltending in Division III, according to standings on United States College Hockey Organization’s website. She has only 13 goals against and a winning record of 12-1-0. Her save percentage alone qualifies Rogers as one of the top performers in program history, joining Allie Carter ’15 who was awarded All-American distinction in her senior year with a save percentage of .914.
Junior forward Amy Budde thinks Rogers is in route to earning that same award. “She’s top in the nation right now. I wouldn’t doubt it one bit and it’s all because she works so hard,” says Budde, who spends hours before practice shooting on Rogers.
“One of my favorite things about her is how honest she is. When I score, and tell her that her five hole is open, she agrees and works on it for the next go-around. Not a lot of goalies have her attitude. Many of them get mad, but never Jacque,” says Budde.
Head Coach Carisa Wahlig knew the type of player she was bringing in when she recruited Rogers—one that works well in high pressure situations and has a history of winning. “The first time I ever saw Jacque play was at USA Hockey Nationals. Her team was playing the Chicago Mission which is typically one of the best AAA programs in the country. Her team won 2-1 and it was all because of her—so yeah, I’d say she seems pretty comfortable in pressure type situations,” says Coach Wahlig, who believes Rogers really has started to come into her own since the start of the second semester.
When the stakes are high, Rogers says she does all that she can to stay cool and rely on what she knows. The first thing that comes to mind when she sees the puck in her net? “Darn, I should’ve had that,” Rogers says.
For someone who doesn’t pay attention to stats, Rogers does have some superstitions. Before every game, she puts her equipment on from right to left. She recalls one time in high school when she first started to put on her left skate and noticed something was wrong. After realizing what she had done, she put her skates back in her bag and started the process again. “It’s a silly thing, I know, but it’s just something I’ve been doing forever so I just stick with it.”
The Foresters, who are ranked 6th in the nation according to polling, will take Rogers—superstitions and all— as they head into their final games of the regular season and playoffs. As for Rogers, she hopes to continue doing what she has done best—being the freshman everyone can rely on.