PHOTO BY BC ATHLETICS

Kenzie Kent scored nine goals and added 17 assists for Boston College's hockey team this season.

Two-Sport Star: Kenzie Kent Balances BC Hockey and Lacrosse


Before Kenzie Kent ever arrived at Boston College, she probably knew she’d have to deal with some ice in February. She grew up 45 minutes away from campus and knew that comes with the territory when you play lacrosse in New England.

But until she saw the itinerary sent to her by BC coach Acacia Walker, she didn’t realize quite how much ice was going to be involved in her college career.

Kent played soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse growing up on Massachusetts’ South Shore, but had figured she'd play only college lacrosse. BC’s ice hockey team is a national power, but she chose the school because the lacrosse team seemed like the kind of group she’d like to spend four years with. It never crossed her mind that there might be another group on campus that she’d spend the other half of those four years with.

But there it was, written on her list of things to do that day: Meeting with the ice hockey coaches.

“I had no idea I was on their radar,” Kent said.  “That was really cool. Once I met them I fell in love with them. From then on it was pretty easy.”


“It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve made so many great friends.” - Kenzie Kent


Easy is a relative term. Training for hockey begins in the summer and stretches well into the beginning of lacrosse season. This year, in finally ended on St. Patrick’s Day, when the Eagles fell to Wisconsin by one goal in the national semifinals.

A little over a week later, Kent came off the bench for the lacrosse team, pairing a goal and with two assists in a win over Yale. Kent, who plays attack, currently ranks second on the team in assists (22) and fifth in points (40), despite playing in just seven of their 19 games.

A forward on the ice, she currently sits 10th on BC hockey’s career assist list. She tallied nine goals and 17 assists during the interminable hockey season that officially began on September 30 in Duluth, Minn., and ended six months at the Frozen Four in St. Charles, Mo.

That was a Friday. The Eagles flew back into Boston late the next night. Kent took Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to do homework, sleep and turn on the TV to finally catch up on The Affair. She likes being alone, so those three days of rest are necessary. The next day she practiced a little lacrosse, but didn't put on her goggles. On Saturday, she was in Chapel Hill, watching the Eagles take on mighty North Carolina. By Monday she was back to full practice. The Saturday after that she was in the starting lineup, putting the ACC on notice with an eight-point performance in a win over Virginia.








“It’s pretty awkward,” she said, about the quick turnaround. The hardest parts of the transition are emotional (going from the pinnacle of college hockey, to the NCAA’s toughest women’s lacrosse league in a week, all while adjusting to a completely new set of teammates) and mental (learning a completely new offense midseason). That the Eagles are so welcoming does make it easier though.

It also helps that the central idea of each sport—take this object and put it in that net-—is essentially the same. And after months spent using a curved stick to try and stop a rubber disk from sliding across a sheet of ice, it’s nice to have a pocket.

“When I play lacrosse I love the control I have,” she said. When you get the puck, someone’s immediately on you. And it’s not in a pocket, it’s on your stick. So you need to know what you’re going to do with the puck as soon as you get it. I think that correlates to my lacrosse game. I think I like to move the ball quicker than I would if I didn’t play hockey.”

That quick thinking might explain why she’s averaging more than three assists per game. BC won five of its first six games after Kent’s return, before the ACC season ended a loss to UNC on Friday. The Eagles remain a good bet to reach a fifth straight NCAA tournament.




PHOTO BY JOHN RISLEY

In just seven games this lacrosse season, Kent has 18 goals and 22 assists.


That will mean at least another week before Kent’s brief offseason finally begins. Not that she’s complaining.

“It’s the best decision I’ve ever made,” she said. “I’ve made so many great friends.”

Her advice to any young player considering the same is “Do it until you don’t enjoy it anymore. That’s what I’m doing.”

When lacrosse season finally ends, you won’t find Kent anywhere near ice. She’ll spend the month between seasons at the beach. And don’t expect her to be having a catch.

“No sports,” she said. “I’m going in the water.”