All-American Blugold: Sophie Rausch

Women’s hockey star named to third straight first team All-American
Sophie Rausch accepts the WIAC Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete Award.
Photo by UWRF Athletics, used with permission from Blugold Athletics.
Sophie Rausch accepts the WIAC Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete Award. Photo by UWRF Athletics, used with permission from Blugold Athletics.

An All-American dream is coming true for one Blugold student athlete finishing her college career. Fifth-year women’s hockey forward Sophie Rausch is skating to the end of her college hockey career named to the 2024 All-American first team for the third time.

“I feel very proud of myself and very honored to get those awards,” Rausch said. “I mean the All-American is a really big award. I feel really blessed to have had that success.”

This season Rausch was also named the WIAC Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete and a finalist for the American Hockey Coaches Association Player of the Year. 

“The scholar athlete was a nice testament to hard work on and off the ice, so I was really proud of that award as well,” she said.

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This is the third straight year Rausch has made first team All-American, first with Hamline University before transferring to UW-Eau Claire for the past two years.

“I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to play at two different places. It was hard to navigate the transfer at first but looking back I wouldn’t have done it any other way,” Rausch said. 

Rausch led the Blugolds this season in points, goals and assists and helped lead the team to a second-place finish in the WIAC. She also ranked second in the conference in points, goals, shots and power play goals.

“She’s one of those special student athletes,” said Erik Strand, women’s hockey head coach. “I think what makes her as special as she is, is as unbelievable as she is as a player, she’s an even better person. A lot of times it’s more being a fan watching how great she is than it is being her coach because of how strong she is as a player.”

Strand said Rausch contributes to the team as a leader both on and off the ice.

“Most nights she is going to be on the score sheet,” Strand said. “But with what she is able to accomplish, others see what is possible. They see what she can do and how she moves on the ice, then they believe they can do it. It gives others confidence to try things they maybe wouldn’t try themselves.”

Rausch is an exercise science student finishing up her degree at UW-Eau Claire. After that, she hopes to take the ice again overseas.

“I am looking at options to play in Europe next year for a season,” Rausch said. “There’s multiple leagues over there so I’m hoping to find a good fit.”

As far as her hockey career might take her after graduation, Rausch said she is grateful for her experience playing with the Blugolds.

“It is a big team sport and it all stems from the coaches and my teammates. The environment is so welcoming and positive that it makes me want to practice every day, and want to play for these girls. I think they push me in ways you don’t necessarily see.”

The awards mark an end for Rausch — the end of a highly decorated, All-American college career.

“Being able to be first team All-American at both of these schools, it was just a great end to a fun career.”

Mohr can be reached at [email protected].

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