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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW goalie confident in faith, play in net

Despite being a freshman, Wisconsin goaltender Becca Ruegsegger\’s teammates say having her in net is a source of confidence for the Badgers.[/media-credit]

It’s not uncommon to see athletes pointing to the heavens or praying to God during games. Wisconsin freshman goaltender Becca Ruegsegger doesn’t pray to the man just for help — he’s the reason she’s out there.

“It’s what motivates me, and it’s who I play for,” Ruegsegger said. “I want to give my best in practice and work hard and give the glory to God. Ultimately that’s my goal — to play for Him and give the glory to Him.”

Lately she’s been doing just that.


In the Culver’s Camp Randall Classic, Ruegsegger shut out the Bemidji State Beavers through 56 minutes of play, allowing only one goal against on the outdoor rink. In its 16 wins on the season, Ruegsegger has helped her team to victory nine times while also boasting a 91.2 save percentage.

Interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser accredits Ruegsegger’s success to her commitment and preparation.

“She’s a pretty humble player and person. I think the reason why Becca does pretty well on average is because she prepares herself for the games. She studies her game; she studies video; she takes notes; she asks questions, and she’s receptive to feedback.”

Ruegsegger’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. Defenseman Geena Prough noted her determination and growing confidence.

“I think coming in as a freshman, you kind of got to find your bearings. and I think when we swept Minnesota she gained a lot of confidence that weekend. She’s just a really hard worker, she’s determined — I think this whole year she has just been focusing on getting better and being more consistent.”

While the Badgers have struggled with consistency this season, Ruegsegger has been a steady source of confidence for the team.

Finding her own confidence in her faith — “win or loss” — she gains her confidence from God. In return, she builds up her teammates.

“[Ruegsegger] is a very confident person,” defenseman Saige Pacholok said. “She knows what she needs to do, and she gets it done. I think having her in net really helps us as a team in our confidence too.”

Giving the team a strong sense of self-assurance is key for the squad, but being a freshman, she’s still growing and developing on her own.

With a strong showing so far on the season, there are times when Ruegsegger’s youth is noticeable.

“You can tell by the way she plays the puck out of the net — and sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes we have to try and recognize if that’s the right time to play the puck,” DeKeyser said. “She enjoys the game so much and she enjoys incorporating herself and moving the puck up the ice which is great — not many goalies can do that and do it well. She has to learn to pick and choose when that’s a good thing, but fact that she’s willing to do it is a great thing for our group, it’s like having an extra skater out there sometimes.

“Again, she’s a freshman, she still has areas to develop and the thing is, she’s cognizant of that. She’s willing to work on weaknesses and that’s what makes her a great player to work with and I think will lend well to her continual progression.”

When the losses come along, Ruegsegger cannot help but feel responsible.

Always analyzing the goals, she looks to see what she did wrong and how to fix it for next time and also hopes her team can find the back of the net in return.

“After every goal that goes in I look at it and see what I could have done better, how I could have stopped that puck,” Ruegsegger said. “Ultimately that’s my job, to keep the puck out of the net. When we lose, I take responsibility for that blame.”

Although she feels the need to shoulder the blame for any losses, Ruegsegger still moves forward focusing on what she can change for the next game.

Keeping herself in the game, she is constantly focusing on certain aspects of her game, hoping to continually do well.

“Lots of times I focus on key points that I want to remember to do well — it might vary game to game, sometimes it’s the same weekend to weekend,” Ruegsegger said. “I just focus on three different things that I want to do well in that game and that doesn’t change whether I get 50 shots or 15, so I just make sure I’m doing those things well.”

Undeniably she’s a focused and confident girl, qualities she attributes to her faith, but DeKeyser recognizes her focus and her overall determination due to her strong sense of commitment.

“[Ruegsegger] is where she is because she’s worked hard and prepared for every task that she’s undertaking, whether it’s hockey-related or academically. She does well in both arenas because she commits herself to working hard and taking care of the details.”

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