TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

May 31, 2017 — A special guest

I don’t know exactly when the notion or imperative came in to extend and overlap college sports seasons so that it is nearly impossible to play more than one sport today.

Perhaps part of it came from the fact that the college bowls are always played during the traditional months of the winter sports seasons, and have been since the first Rose Bowl was played in 1901. And where there was only one bowl game in 1930, there are more than 30 of them today, hindering the chances of a college athlete to play basketball, wrestle, swim, or place ice hockey during the winter.

This is what made Kenzie Kent’s last month for the Boston College women’s lacrosse team such a surprise and delight. Kent came to B.C. primarily to place ice hockey, although you might get an argument from some people on this. Kent’s mother, Jennifer, is an assistant coach for B.C., and Kent was on head coach Acacia Walker’s radar when she was just seven years old.

Kent’s major accomplishments thus far have been in ice hockey. She is an alumna of the world-famous Assabet Valley girls’ ice hockey program, and has been capped for the United States U-18 national team in a couple of major tournaments.

At B.C., Kent has helped her team to three NCAA Division I Final Fours under the guidance of head coach Katie King-Crowley, who was part of the Olympic gold medal-winning side at Nagano in 1998. Indeed, just last year, the Eagles took a 40-0 record into the national championship game, but dropped a 3-1 decision to a Wisconsin team coached by 1980 U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey legend Mark Johnson.

After the women’s hockey team ended its season, Kent came back to the lacrosse pitch and Boston College would win 11 out of its last 13 games. The Eagles had a certain bounce in their step, playing quicker and with deadlier intent. They were a different offense with her in the lineup, and the NCAA Tournament Committee noticed. Despite the fact that Boston College did not win the title this year, Kent was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for her five-goal, five-assist effort. It was the most points in a final since Maryland legend Jen Adams had 10 points — all in the second half — against Princeton in 2000.

Now, we don’t know whether Kenzie Kent’s future will be in the UWLX or the NWHL, or with whichever athletic endeavor she is able to develop into that kind of transcendent figure. But we do know that her sister Addison is coming to The Heights for the fall of 2017. Her primary athletic choice: women’s lacrosse.

Watch out, people. With both Kent sisters and Sam Apuzzo on attack, you have to believe that Boston College is going to be an insider choice for the 2018 national title.

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