Ohio State forward Paetyn Levis (27) and defenseman Emma Peschel...

Ohio State forward Paetyn Levis (27) and defenseman Emma Peschel (7) skate toward goaltender Amanda Thiele (30) as time runs out in a national semifinal against Northeastern in the women's NCAA Frozen Four college hockey tournament in Duluth, Minn., Friday, March 17, 2023. Credit: AP/Shari L. Gross

DULUTH, Minnesota — Ohio State defender Sophie Jaques won the Patty Kazmaier Award on Saturday, given to the top player in women’s NCAA Division I hockey.

Jaques, who is from Toronto, is the first Buckeye to win the award and the second-ever defender. She helped Ohio State to a 33-5-2 record and a berth in Sunday’s NCAA national title game against Wisconsin.

Jaques led all NCAA defenders in points (48), goals (24), power-play goals (9) and points per game (1.23) through 40 games. On the Buckeyes’ top defensive pairing, Jaques helped Ohio State hold opponents to 1.75 goals per game and blocked 55 shots this season.

“Receiving this award is something I never even could have imagined was possible,” Jaques said in a statement, adding later, "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.”

The 22-year-old, who was among the three Kazmaier finalists last year, is pursuing a master’s degree in civil engineering.

Danielle Serdachny from Colgate and forward Alina Mueller at Northeastern also were finalists for the award, which was announced during the women’s Frozen Four.

The award is named for Patty Kazmaier, who played for Princeton from 1981 to 1986 and died at the age of 28 of a blood disease. The winner is chosen by a 13-member panel of Division I women’s hockey coaches, media and a member of USA Hockey.

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