nlike the rest of the lacrosse world, Jennifer Kent didn’t see much of her daughter’s record-shattering performance in the NCAA championship game May 28 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

"> Always in Season: Kenzie Kent's Just Getting Started | USA Lacrosse Magazine


"If a coach had said you have to do lacrosse and not hockey, or hockey and not lacrosse, I don't know where she would have ended up," said Jennifer Kent, Kenzie's mom and Eagles assistant.

Always in Season: Kenzie Kent's Just Getting Started


nlike the rest of the lacrosse world, Jennifer Kent didn’t see much of her daughter’s record-shattering performance in the NCAA championship game May 28 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Boston College’s Kenzie Kent was so dominant, she would become the first player from a losing team ever to be named the championship’s most outstanding player. But Jennifer Kent, the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, had her eyes elsewhere. She recalls the game in colorful terms.

“We were getting our asses kicked by Maryland, so who cares what we are doing on the offensive end?” she said. “I didn’t see her taking over the game at all. When I saw the stat sheet, I thought, ‘How did she do that?’ I remembered two ridiculous plays, but then I’m like, ‘She had five assists?’”

Maryland defeated Boston College 16-13 to finish the season undefeated and win its third NCAA championship in four years. But afterward, everyone was talking about Kent, the two-sport phenom from nearby Norwell whose 10 points in the final tied an NCAA record. Her five-goal, five-assist masterpiece included several slick-stick moves, underarm releases and tumbling finishes, reminding everyone in the record crowd of 11,668 that she’s a world-class ice hockey player too.

That performance capped a five-game run through the NCAA tournament in which Kent led the Eagles past Syracuse, USC and Navy before falling to Maryland. In all, she scored 21 goals in the tournament and shattered the NCAA record for points with 37. The previous record was 26.


Boston College attacker and NCAA Most Outstanding Player Kenzie Kent tied a championship record with 10 points against Maryland in the 2017 final.

Jennifer Kent may have missed much of Kenzie’s run at history, but the mother-daughter dynamic works for them.

“I’m a bad person in terms of giving credit. I just kind of see the mistakes,” Jennifer Kent said. “‘You just shot high-to-high and now they’re going to come down and we have to make another stop.’”

“I never hear it on the field,” Kenzie Kent said. “After the game or at practice, though, she will definitely say some things.”

The six-month-long ice hockey season ended when Boston College lost to Wisconsin in the NCAA semifinals March 17. Kent, a lefty forward, was in the lacrosse lineup March 29 against Yale.

She felt her game rounding into shape for a breakout postseason.

“I’ve always felt ready,” Kent says. “I’ve been waiting for my time, and our whole team just jelled at the right time last year.”

“What I want with both of those sports is to see them grow.” — Boston College Ice Hockey and Lacrosse Star Kenzie Kent


f Jennifer Kent missed her daughter’s performance on the field, she knew where it originated — in their family’s backyard in Norwell, Mass., where Kenzie and her six siblings, none more than two years apart in age, constantly played sports together.

“She was always in the backyard playing,” Jennifer Kent said. “Always had a stick in her hand, a ball in her hand. The backyard was always sprinkled with older kids and younger kids.”

After dominating youth leagues in soccer, hockey and lacrosse, Kenzie Kent came to a defining moment during the summer before junior year in high school. She had two goals: make Team USA in hockey and get accepted at Noble and Greenough School, an academically elite prep school in Dedham, Mass. She had been rejected after first applying to the school, but was determined to try again. She focused on her academics, qualified for the U.S. national under-18 team and got into her dream school.

“I didn’t get in my freshman year and I kind of accepted it and was ready to make the best of it,” she said. “But my club hockey coach told me, ‘You should go to Nobles.’ And I wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t.”

“She was like, ‘This is what I want,’ and she really worked hard for it,” Jennifer Kent said. “She definitely grew up that year to get herself into Nobles and making the team. Everything fell into place.”

Even though hockey kept Kent out of most summer lacrosse camps and club teams, college coaches still came calling. After visiting several schools, she jumped at Boston College when both lacrosse coach Acacia Walker and hockey coach Katie Crowley offered her an opportunity to play.

“If a coach had said you have to do lacrosse and not hockey, or hockey and not lacrosse, I don’t know where she would have ended up,” Jennifer Kent said.


or her first two years at BC, Kent’s hockey career eclipsed her lacrosse accomplishments. She was a key member of the Eagles’ 2016 team that reached the national championship game undefeated, only to fall to Minnesota. In lacrosse, she became the first Eagle to be named to the IWLCA All-Rookie Team and was second-team All-ACC as a sophomore.

Kent may soon be the first woman to play both sports professionally. In August, she was one of three Eagles selected in the National Women’s Hockey League draft. The Boston Pride took Kent fourth. Then in November, the Boston Storm drafted Kent third overall in the United Women's Lacrosse League college draft.

“It was a huge honor to be drafted and I was very humbled and grateful,” she said in October.

“What I want with both of those sports is to see them grow.”


The Boston Pride (NWHL) and Boston Storm (UWLX) drafted two-sport star Kenzie Kent in August and November, respectively.

By 2017, Kent was starting at left wing in hockey and playing on both the Eagles’ top-ranked power-play and second-ranked penalty killing units. After BC fell in the Frozen Four, she took a week off before rejoining the lacrosse team already 12 games into the spring season. Even with a modest one-goal, two-assist scoring line against Yale, Walker had seen all she needed to insert Kent full time.

“I don’t think there are too many who could not be around for six months and then come in right away and be a star. But she proves it with her play,” Walker says. “If she was playing average lacrosse and I had to make a tough call, it might be a problem, but she’s not. She’s so dominant. No one can argue.”

Kent started opposite All-American Sam Apuzzo in an April 1 game against Virginia. Apuzzo, enjoying a breakout campaign (80 goals, 39 assists) of her own after an ACL injury limited her to just nine games as a freshman, became the perfect line mate.

“Sam inspires me,” Kent said. “She gets me going and we really feed off each other. She pushed me to go one-on-one more rather than pass it off.”

Kent and Apuzzo had a nearly unstoppable mix of complementary skills. Kent’s secret weapon was an explosive first step honed by endless hours of leg-intensive hockey practice. Playing from the top of the offense, she found she could either dodge or use that speed to get open near the goal for precise passes from Apuzzo.

“Sam is an amazing feeder,” Kent said.

Once back in the starting lineup, Kent averaged a team-best 3.45 goals per game, a scoring pace that would have put her 10th in the country for the season, just ahead of Apuzzo’s 3.33, if she had played enough games to qualify for rankings. 

Over the same span, Kent recorded 3.27 assists per game and 6.73 points per game — which put her behind only Tewaaraton finalist Kylie Ohlmiller’s full-season pace of 3.91 and 7.45, respectively.


"I don't think there are too many who could not be around for six months and then come in right away and be a star," Boston College coach Acacia Walker said on Kent.


y the time the postseason arrived, Walker sensed Kent was ready for a run. 

“We were just pushing her because we knew she hadn’t played her best,” said Walker. “There was nothing specific we did as coaches, but we just kept telling her, ‘You’re almost there, but we need more. We need more.’”

They got it. 

Against longtime-nemesis Syracuse, which beat the Eagles by 10 in an early season game before Kent’s return, she scored a hat trick and delivered three assists in a 21-10 rout.

Then in the quarterfinals against USC, Kent simply exploded. Facing Team USA goalie Gussie Johns and USC’s top-ranked scoring defense, Kent poured in six goals and two assists as Boston College blew past the Trojans 20-14 and into their first championship weekend.

USC coach Lindsey Munday said the Trojans prepared for Kent but still could not stop her.

“She took over,” Munday said. “We were very aware of her. I’ve been watching Kenzie for years, since when she was in fifth or sixth grade. She’s incredibly smart on the field, and we were aware of her as both a dodger and a feeder. It wasn’t surprising to us.”

Against fellow Cinderella story Navy in the semifinals, Kent scored five goals and controlled a last-minute draw to preserve a 16-15 win. 

And she saved her best day for the biggest game against Maryland.

Walker, though, thinks 2017 was just the beginning.

“I don’t think she’s played her best lacrosse,” she said. “Really, she’s just getting going.”