Arsenault: The Secret Weapon in Boston College’s Arsenal


An ACL injury in high school turned Boston College midfielder Dempsey Arsenault into a ground ball master.

Tearing your ACL the summer before your senior year of high school is the last thing any top recruit would want.

But Dempsey Arsenault, now a junior after helping lead Boston College to its first-ever NCAA championship last season, did just that.


Dempsey Arsenault
Boston College

No. 18
Year: Junior
Position: Midfield
Height: 5-8
Bench: 140
Squat: 181.5
Vertical Jump: 19 inches

Arsenault missed her final seasons of field hockey and ice hockey, but rehabbed with confidence she would return to the lacrosse field. Pool workouts and Normatec sessions became the norm.

“I had a countdown to when I could run again and when I could play again,” Arsenault said. “I probably took it for granted before, but now I really cherish it every day I get to play.”

As a true midfielder, Arsenault decided to take a step back, finishing her high school career as an attacker to slowly work her way back to full speed. It allowed herself to dictate how her body moved, versus playing defense and having to react to others.

Being proactive, in her physical therapy and in her play, helped her regain her range of motion and star in the Under Armour All-American Game later that summer.

By her freshman campaign, Arsenault became a starter for the Eagles in all 19 games and was named Defensive Player of the Week after holding Tewaaraton Award finalist Kayla Treanor to a season-low two points.

During her sophomore season, she led Boston College with a team-best 48 ground balls. It became her specialty. The Eagles bested national champion Maryland in ground balls in the 2017 NCAA final, 24-18.

“I just have to try to stay aggressive and be explosive through ground balls,” Arsenault said. “Playing hockey and field hockey really helped with my hands to get all the ground balls. That’s my area to do the dirty work for my teammates.”

Arsenault now does extra wall ball sessions aimed low to the ground as well as wrist strength lifts for ground ball efficiency. Squats also frequent her workouts to build stronger leg muscles. After a devastating knee injury, she continues to pass the mile run test, finishing under six and a half minutes each time.

When her teammate Sam Apuzzo tore her ACL in 2016, Arsenault took it upon herself to become the voice of encouragement.

“You won’t take it for granted,” Arsenault said to Apuzzo. “You’ll enjoy lacrosse so much more knowing that you were out for so long, especially being able to run. The first run is so exciting."

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