Athlete of the Week: Clara Jaques
Hometown: Los Angeles
Freshman goalie Clara Jaques was recently named the University Athletic Association’s Rookie of the Year. She posted a .842 save percentage, a mere .015 points behind the league leader. Jaques has completed nine shutouts of the soccer team’s 16 wins. Over the weekend, Jaques shut out No. 21-ranked Illinois Wesleyan in an overtime win to lead the Bears to the NCAA sectionals against No. 24 Wheaton College on Friday.
Student Life: What has been the most memorable game this season?
Clara Jaques: I’d say the last game, against Illinois Wesleyan. To get back at them and kind of redeem ourselves for losing to them in the first game of the year, and to win it in overtime like that is pretty cool.
SL: How does it feel to be UAA Rookie of the Year?
CJ: It feels good. It’s awesome—the fact that I can contribute so soon to such a successful team is really cool.
SL: What has been, so far, the high point of the year?
CJ: I think we’re in it right now, like winning last Sunday and this week with the anticipation of going out to play Wheaton and just the excitement behind the team and the boys’ team coming out. Yeah, we’re in the middle of it right now.
SL: Speaking of the mens’ team, how do you feel about the [Head Coach Jim] Conlon Crazies?
CJ: They’re hilarious. I tried to keep a straight face when they came out with the new Frère Jacques. I laughed on the field in the middle of the game. I have a lot of respect for their rhyming abilities.
SL: What’s it like being a freshman on the team?
CJ: It’s awesome. There are 10 of us, so it’s kind of a majority compared to other classes. We’re just treated like anyone else. The seniors, juniors and sophomores are all so nice to us. I couldn’t ask for better upperclassmen.
SL: How long have you played soccer and been a goalie?
CJ: Since I was like 5…my parents made me. A couple years after I started, no one else want[ed] to play goalie, so if you’re at all good at it, then they make you keep playing. I think that’s the story with every goalie there is.
SL: Any team or personal pre-game rituals?
CJ: We’ve been really liking Olive Garden of late. We’ve eaten there three times. The endless bread sticks are a big hit. As far as pre-game rituals…well, Laura McGinnis has started to talk about how “no one dances in our W.” We have a little dance session [on the field before the game]. At home games we do the Wash. U. fight song that not many people know exists. I still don’t know the words. Caryn [Rosoff], a senior, doesn’t even know the words. We all just awkwardly clap.
SL: Any funny moments from the season?
CJ: Saturday, at halftime, Coach asked random people about good things we did in the first half. Then he’s like “Jaques,” and I’d been preparing in my head what to say to the question if he asked me. I thought he was going to ask me the same question, and he asked me a completely different question and I just screamed, “Shut out!” Everyone died [laughing].