Vogler '96 excels as athlete in both hockey and golf: As two-sport athlete, Sara Vogler is known for her quiet approach on and off the field--an effective method
When former President Theodore Roosevelt advised the country to "speak softly and carry a big stick," he could have easily been talking about Dartmouth senior Sara Vogler. A member of both the women's golf and ice-hockey teams, she swings a mean stick, or club, depending on the season, but you'd never hear it from her.
Nicknamed "Bobber" by her ice hockey teammates because often she prefers to bob or nod her head rather than speak to someone, the loudest thing she utters is a commanding "pssssstt!" to get a companion's attention.
Luckily, her accomplishments speak for themselves both in competition and in the classroom. Just two weekends ago she closed out an outstanding fall season in golf at the ECAC meet with a ninth place finish. In her second round she birdied four times and shot a 75, the low round of the tournament.
Now, with golf on hold until the spring, Vogler will step into her role as one of the hockey team's most important players.
A native of Beverly Hills, Mich., Vogler came to Dartmouth from the Cranbrook Kingswood School as the defending Michigan State Class B-C-D golf champion. Much of her success comes from natural athletic ability, as she golfed only sparingly as a youngster.
"I didn't play much until ninth grade," Vogler said. "I hurt my knee playing soccer, so I joined the golf team."
Vogler said she chose to come to Dartmouth after attending a summer hockey camp here while in high school because it afforded her the opportunity to enjoy the rural setting and participate in outdoor activities, but she admits that one other thing was the deciding factor in her decision.
"Really, I liked the rink. That's why I came."
Vogler continued her strong play on the links after arriving here at Dartmouth, becoming the top player on the team. According to Coach Izzy Johnson, her scores have not varied very much since she arrived.
"Since she's been a freshman she's been a steady contributor to the golf team all the way through," Johnson said. "We had a very strong team her first year and when they graduated there was more pressure on her."
Vogler has handled the pressure well, as she is usually one of the top few finishers in tournaments.
"She has great form and a wonderful short game," Johnson said. "Her golf swing is marvelous. It has a lot of hockey in it, but that's good. There's a lot of good transfer there."
Hockey Coach George Crowe also praises Vogler.
"I think she's been playing very well," he said. "Sara is the best defensive defenseman we have, without question. Physically she's become a lot stronger. Even though she's not the biggest person, she plays as big as anyone, especially one-on-one.
To be a two sport athlete at the college level is impressive, but not all that unusual. What makes Vogler unique is that she does two sports at once in the fall. Though hockey is technically a winter sport, it actually spans the fall term too, and the team has been skating since returning to campus in September. As a result, Vogler often practiced twice a day over the past weeks, skating in the early afternoon and heading to golf practice immediately afterwards. She usually finished just as the sun was setting.
"It's awfully hard to play golf in the dark," Vogler said. "I had to hurry."
Johnson is not selfish about having to share her top player in the fall.
"She's always there for the golf team," Johnson said. "She's made a real effort to balance two sports. In the spring I count on her 100 percent. In the fall she does what she wants. She's put some pressure on herself to play really good golf and get ready for ice hockey at the same time."
"Hockey is my first love," Vogler said. "If I was golfing, and I couldn't play hockey, I wouldn't enjoy golf as much."
Golf teammate Jessica Hughes '97 said that balancing two sports has not hurt Vogler's performance on the course this fall because of her dedication and personality.
"She's pretty intense," Hughes said. "She doesn't like to play with slow people or socialize on the course. She's all business. This fall she has had so much to do and so much on her mind, but she does everything well. She even loves her classes."
Crow said, "You'd never know she was playing two sports. She handles both without missing a lot. I really do think she's amazing."
Other people may not notice how hectic her life is in the fall, but Vogler, a biology major, does.
"I don't golf any better in the spring when I am not playing hockey, so I don't think playing two sports affects my performance in one or the other," she said. "Really what it affects are my grades."
She was, however, an Academic All-Ivy pick last season in hockey.
Looking ahead to life after Dartmouth, Vogler may have an opportunity to go to Switzerland next season to play hockey in a semi-professional women's league, joining Rachel Rochat '95, the captain of last year's hockey team. If she does, she says she may also work at a golf course when she is not on the ice. For Sara Vogler, what could be more appropriate?