Although Oak Lake’s KJ Wallace has a bright future ahead, leaving St. Norbert College and its women’s hockey team is not easy.
‘I'm definitely going to miss St. Norbert and living in De Pere,” she said. “I think the hardest part will be not living so close to all my friends and showing up to the hockey rink. It has truly been the best four years!”
The daughter of Tod and Penny Wallace has been a been a solid contributor for her Wisconsin school squad at the NCAA Division III level. She saved her best for last. This past winter the 5-foot-5 forward posted career bests of six goals and 10 points in her final season.
“She really did a great job as our top-line centre and played with two senior wings,” said Meredith Roth, who was the Green Knights head coach last season. “They really gelled, and a big reason was because of KJ’s engagement level with them. Focused & fun. So proud of her!”
As a member of team’s leadership council, Wallace was counted on to help lead the squad. Roth said she is “a positive energy giver in the dressing room.”
The former Green Knights head coach, who is moving on to NCAA Division I Holy Cross as an associate head coach, said that Wallace is loved and that her and her family will be missed after she graduates.
“I will remember her smile, demeanor, and how she showed up every day,” Roth said. “I really love coaching her, and I know she is a really good teammate to her peers.”
Although Wallace played her college career far away in the Green Bay metropolitan area, she always knew she had the backing of her family.
“My family has been nothing but supportive over the last four years,” she said. “My parents and grandparents have put in a lot of time traveling to come see me and it's always a fun time when they come to campus. I'm excited to have everyone down in De Pere for graduation!”
Wallace graduates this spring with an accounting degree. She has already secured employment. After being a junior technician with BDO Brandon last summer, she has accepted a full-time junior staff accountant position with the firm. While accounting is her future, Wallace will not forget her time with the Green Knights.
“The love for the game has kept me playing as well as the support from my family and friends,” she said.